Staten Islanders waiting for aid money to fix their homes say they are not impressed by the federal aid package approved Friday. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
It's been more than two months since Hurricane Sandy hit, and Center Place still looks like a ghost town. Just a handful of residents are back in their New Dorp homes after the storm ravaged their houses, leaving many flood damaged and unlivable.
"There's no money," said Frank McGinnis, whose home was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. "Nobody's getting the money to do anything."
McGinnis has been back in his home, which took on about six feet of water, for the last several weeks. He's done the bulk of the renovation work himself, paying handy friends and family out of pocket, with no help from insurance or the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
He said a vote to release nearly $10 billion in storm aid doesn't really mean much to him or his neighbors.
"It happened on U.S. soil, but if it happened somewhere else in the world, they'd send aid and everything else to help them," he said. "But something that happened in their own backyard, we're getting abandoned."
It's a similar story on Cedar Grove Court, where many of the storm-damaged homes are boarded up as residents wait for relief.
Work has started for some, like Matt Zagami. He received some money from FEMA, but he said it's just a fraction of the total cost of the work that's needed. He said the federal money is too little, too late.
"People need funds, and they don't need funds in the way of a business loan," he said. "They don't want loans. They need cash assistance to be able to rebuild these homes."
Just days after the storm hit, President Barack Obama visited residents in New Dorp to offer his support. Residents NY1 spoke to say that visit was only symbolic, and they've felt nothing but abandoned by Washington ever since.