Quinn Critical Of Expiration Of Program For Sandy Victims
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is blasting the administration for letting a program for Sandy victims expire. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
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Tuesday was the last day to apply for the emergency food stamp program, giving Hurricane Sandy victims a one-time benefit to restock their fridge.
"It would help me get the food I lost when my lights were out for 14 days," said one resident.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said the program should be extended by two weeks.
"People are hungry," Quinn said. "People do not have as much money to buy food. We have a solution to that. Why aren't we embracing it as aggressively, as broadly and as humanely as we can, and pushing it out there to New Yorkers? I just don't understand it, and I really hope, in the three-and-a-half hours we have left, or whatever it is, the adminstration changes their mind."
The Bloomberg administration has resisted expanding the program. It only applied to a dozen zip codes, and residents had to apply at one of two centers, one on Staten Island, and the one in Fort Greene.
In a statement, a spokeswoman for the New York City Human Resources Adminstration said, "We see no reason to extend. People in need are welcome to apply for our ongoing public assistance programs, including the regular food stamp program."
It was an unsatisfying response for some.
"It doesn't make sense why we narrowed it so broadly to who was available and why we have such a low number of people who are getting this," Quinn said.
While Quinn was taking the administration to task on assistance available now, the council also turned to how the city will recover from Hurricane Sandy in the long term.
The speaker proposed a package of legislation on Tuesday that could dictate how Hurricane Sandy victims might rebuild in the future.
One proposal would force buildings in flood-prone areas, specifically ones designated by FEMA, to build higher.
Some of those issues will be debated next month. The City Council announced a series of hearings to discuss exactly how the city responded.