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Mayor Plans To Use Latest Federal Sandy Aid For Recovery, Infrastructure Programs

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TWC News: Mayor Plans To Use Latest Federal Sandy Aid For Recovery, Infrastructure Programs
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg Wednesday morning detailed a portion of the city’s plans for a $1.8 billion chunk of federal funds in the ongoing recovery and rebuilding efforts from Hurricane Sandy.

The figure is just a portion of the $50 billion Hurricane Sandy aid package Congress approved last month.

The mayor says roughly half of the money will be split among three categories of immediate need: Housing recovery, business recovery and infrastructure resiliency.

Plans for the rest of the funds will be detailed at a later date.

Bloomberg says housing recovery initiatives will include $720 million in rehabilitation grants for single and multi-family homes. Some of that money will also go toward better preparing public housing buildings, including the installation of generators.

The city's plans also include $185 million in grants and loans for businesses who were hit hard by the storm.

Additionally, $140 million will go toward economic development projects, grants and "Race To The Top" style competitions for utilities to make investments in storm-proofing their systems.

The process for homeowners should be in place by spring.

"We’d be starting to roll out the application process in that time frame, late April, early May," said Brad Gair, director of housing recovery operations. "People can then apply. And all the guidelines will come out between now and then. There’s a whole public comment period that goes into this."

With that timetable, by the time individual homeowners actually see any of these federal dollars, it will be at least six months after the storm, a pace that Bloomberg said is about as fast as could be expected.

"In government-speak, this is instantaneous," Bloomberg said. "The government doesn’t back up a truck and dump bills on the ground. You have to justify it. You have to get approvals. You have to comply with the law."

Bloomberg said the city is still developing plans for the remaining $725 million in the federal government's initial allocation.

The city's detailed plans for the funds will need to be submitted to the Department of Housing and Urban Development for review before the money is released.

Web Extra: Watch The Full Press Conference


TWC News: Mayor Plans To Use Latest Federal Sandy Aid For Recovery, Infrastructure Programs
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