Janet Babin, Host, WNYC News
Janet Babin is a host and reporter at WNYC.
In time for the one-year anniversary of one of the most devastating storms to hit New York City, federal officials are announcing a second round of funding to assist Sandy victims. But the first round has yet to be spent.
New York City will receive an additional $1.3 billion and New York State will receive about $2.1 billion. An additional $1.4 billion has been allocated to New Jersey.
“One year later, it’s clear these communities continue to be challenged by the sheer scale of this devastating storm, requiring further investment to make certain these needs are met,” said U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, who chaired President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force.
The funds will be on top of the billions the city and state have already received, but in some cases have yet to spend.
As of last week, just one person in New York City had received money from a specific Sandy rebuilding grant program, called "Build it Back." The grant program is funded with money allocated to the city through the federal Community Development Block Grant, or CDBG program, administered through HUD.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg explained at news conference at New York University on Monday why only one person had received a check so far.
"We are not wasting the taxpayers money, we've tried to account for every single penny, we've tried to make sure that every single grant is consistent with the intent of the law and we're not just sending checks willy-nilly," Bloomberg said.