The Gowanus Canal, a smelly polluted waterway in Brooklyn that's a designated superfund site, is soon to be substantially cleaner, according to city officials.
Hundreds of Sandy victims still without permanent homes are waiting for a judge to decide whether they must leave the hotels they've been staying in since shortly after the storm hit.
No one had really heard of “adult day care centers” before they emerged at the center of a bribery scandal involving a Bronx Assemblyman. But as it turns out, a recent change in state regulations means the centers have become a potentially lucrative enterprise for their operators – and with almost no oversight. It’s no wonder they are at the center of a bribery scandal.
Legal advocates for the elderly are warning that adult daycare programs, like the one at the center of a political corruption case involving State Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, are highly susceptible to fraud and abuse because no license is required to open them, no government agency is charged with visiting or inspecting them and more of these centers are now eligible to receive government funds.
When Sandy hit, it exposed an underclass living marginal lives in basements and other rundown homes, many inhabited by people who entered the country illegally. And because many don’t qualify for federal aid, they’re at a greater disadvantage.
Ten women, all of them domestic violence victims, have sued the New York City Housing Authority for allegedly botching their applications for public housing. Domestic violence victims are supposed to receive the highest priority for public housing apartments once they've proved they are being abused by submitting police reports, orders of protection and other documents.
A federal trial is continuing in the case of disabled New Yorkers, who say the city needs a protocol for evacuating them during disasters, such as Sandy.
The New York City area is home to about 4 million Catholics, and each church that serves this population has its own challenges and needs. WNYC's Cindy Rodriguez and Brigid Bergin check in on a left-of-center church uptown, and one in Sunset Park offering services in four languages.
The city is arguing that disabled individuals have a responsibility to plan wisely for disasters and it's not just up to government to keep them safe. City lawyer Martha Calhoun made that argument at the start of a trial on whether disabled people are needlessly suffering during disasters because the city fails to account for their special needs.
Opening arguments begin today in a federal trial that is expected to shine a spotlight on how disabled New Yorkers fared during recent disasters such as Hurricane Irene and Sandy. The trial stems from a class action lawsuit filed in September of 2011 by the group, Disability Rights Advocates. The group alleges the city's 900,000 disabled people are largely left out of disaster preparedness plans.
Teen mothers are speaking out about a city-funded ad campaign to discourage teen pregnancy. The ad has drawn fire from groups that work with pregnant teens who say it unfairly stigmatizes poor and minority girls.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that the state Department of Financial Services will launch a review to determine whether large, well-known banks are reneging on a promise to provide homeowners affected by Sandy mortgage relief. The state's move comes after WNYC reported on Staten Island Sandy victims facing threats of foreclosure.
While many families whose homes were damaged by Sandy are receiving some mortgage relief from banks, advocates say the measures will only postpone a rash of foreclosures, not prevent them.
The city plans to use federally funded housing vouchers to place some of the poorest Sandy victims in private apartments. But vouchers must still be approved by the federal government and there's concern they may not come soon enough to keep some families from ending up in shelters.
The Mayor's recent pledge to stop holding people in jail overnight after they've been caught with small amounts of marijuana has done little to appease pastors and civil rights activists who feel black and latino men are unjustly harassed by police.
An appeals court has ruled the city may not go forward with a controversial policy that would have made it tougher for poor New Yorkers to qualify for shelter.
More children are living in poverty and more families are struggling to pay unaffordable rents, according to Citizens Committee for Children. And while the city is doing better in some areas, like lower infant mortality and better test scores, some neighborhoods in the city have been completely bypassed by these trends.
Public housing developments across the city from the Rockaways in Queens, to the Lower East Side, to Red Hook, Brooklyn, were flooded by Sandy. Electrical systems and boilers remained underwater for days in some complexes. Many residents did not evacuate and endured dark, cold buildings for weeks. Today, the basics – heat, hot water and power – are back but many fixes are temporary.
Businesses and ordinary citizens have given more than $400 million to Sandy-related charities since the storm and money is still coming in. But many of the charities have spent less than half of what they've collected so far.
As the New York City Housing Authority recovers from Sandy, it has been considering moving the boilers that heat its buildings out of basements and into vacant apartments where they will face less risk of flooding, according to people involved in discussions with officials.