After a stream of complaints sent to the Bloomberg administration and pressure from Senator Charles Schumer, the city has reversed its refusal to reimburse Superstorm Sandy victims who already spent their own money on repairing their properties, according to a report by the New York Times.
Earlier this month, we reported on how the disbursement of federal dollars from the $60 billion Sandy bill excluded paybacks for New York City residents who already paid for storm repairs out of pocket. Residents living in the rest of New York state, Long Island and New Jersey would be paid back, regardless of whether they had paid for repairs yet or not. The whole situation seemed unfair.
At the time before the reversal, the city argued that they wanted to focus the first $1.77 billion Community Development Block Grants on property owners who couldn’t afford repairs. The city received a torrent of complaints on the plan to exclude people who were desperate to rebuild as quickly as possible during a two-week comment period. The Bloomberg administration subsequently reversed their decision.
Senator Schumer who was adamantly opposed to the original plan from the start called the city’s reversal, ” a step in the right direction.”
Now that everyone has a chance to be reimbursed for Sandy repairs, the revised city plan goes to the Housing and Urban Development Department for review. Once the plan is officially considered, the city promised it would provide more details for how people can qualify for the grants.