Nearly a year later, a Sea Gate family says they're still working to get into a new house to replace the one they lost during Hurricane Sandy. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
An empty lot is all that's left of what used to be the DeAngelis home of 32 years in Sea Gate. NY1 was there when the DeAngelis family came back the day after the storm to survey the damage. DeAngelis family members, all six of them who lived there - and the dog - were forced to find another place to live. At first with relatives, then finding apartments to rent.
"It's been very very rough. especially family wise. because this is very depressing. it's very stressful," said Angelo DeAngelis.
DeAngelis says his insurance claims were denied. He's now suing his insurance company. He says he received about $31,000 from FEMA and another $10,000 from the state but that's already gone on rent and other essentials lost in the storm. With no money to rebuild, he allowed the city's Buildings Department to knock down what was left of the house three months ago.
"Too bad I lost my camera because I was filming it and I was crying at the same time," DeAngelis said.
Now he's putting his faith in the city's "Build It Back" program.
"Hopefully now with this 'Build It Back' program we have some hope after almost a year," he said.
DeAngelis and his son attended a community meeting in Coney Island to learn about the "Build It Back" program. It's a federally funded initiative run by the city to help homeowners impacted by Sandy. There, they met with architects and contractors who won the city's bid to do the work.
The DeAngelis family has been submitting paperwork and photos of their former home to be eligible for the program. But they haven't yet heard if they're approved.
"It's a struggle. Back and forth. Meetings. Headaches. Aggravation most of all," DeAngelis said.
Contractors say, if approved, the DeAngelis family will have a house built back on their 80 by 100 foot lot with the same square footage they once had, only at a higher elevation to help withstand future storms.
Contractors also say if and when approved it'll take six to nine months to build the house.