Hundreds of Hurricane Sandy victims who were not eligible for the city's Build it Back program are now getting aid through a new program using private funds. NY1's Bree Driscoll filed the following report.
Contractors are preparing Nick Randazzo's New Dorp Beach home for construction after Hurricane Sandy filled his basement with nine feet of water.
"I went downstairs and I saw the water, which had circled the whole house, coming through the doors," Randazzo said.
After receiving some insurance and FEMA money, Randazzo still fell short of the total repair costs of more than $100,000. Now, he has become the first recipient of aid from the Neighborhood Revitalization NYC Home Repair Program.
"People who I never expected to be there, they were there," Randazzo said.
The program aims to provide up to $80,000 in repairs for things like flooring and walls to between 400 and 600 homeowners who did not qualify for the city's Build it Back program.
The $14 million in private funds comes from the Mayor's Fund, the Robin Hood Foundation, the American Red Cross and JPMorgan Chase.
"The mayor's fund bringing these kind of private and not-for-profit resources together, combined with the huge public money that Congress and the president made available in the Sandy recovery bill, we're going to actually be able to help the most people recover from the storm," said Cas Holloway, deputy mayor for operations.
As the new program rolls out, many other Hurricane Sandy victims are still waiting on the city's original program, Build it Back, for funding.
"So the question is for the administration, why is it that all of these groups, the Siller Foundation, Yellow Boots, Guyon Rescue, Mayor's Fund, all of these private groups can help people, but the city of New York that was funded by the federal government with $3.2 billion can't seem to help anyone?" said Rep. Michael Grimm, whose district covers Staten Island and part of Brooklyn.
The mayor disagrees.
"Compared to any place else in the country where they've had similar problems and got federal money, nobody's come close to doing as good a job," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Regardless of the source of the money, Randazzo said his recovery is well on its way.
"We're coming back," he said. "We'll be back."
To see if you are eligible to be included in this new home repair program, call 311.