HUD Approves NYC Disaster Recovery Plan

The federal government has approved New York City’s plan to spend the first $1.77 billion in aid for Hurricane Sandy recovery, with the money expected to start flowing by early summer to homeowners, businesses, and others in need. According to the city’s plan, approximately $648 million will go to programs to rebuild homes and make them more storm-resistant. That amount also includes $9 million for rental subsidies for up to 24 months intended mostly for low-income renters and people at risk of homelessness. The money comes in the form of Community Development Block Grants that give local governments flexibility in deciding how to use funds.

The rest of the money will be spent on city infrastructure, on investments to make the city more resilient to storms, and on loans, grants, and other programs for businesses. This amount will not be enough to cover all the damage caused by the storm. Another allocation of federal money is expected later this year, but the current aid will allow city officials to design programs to address the greatest need and leverage other financing. The aid is also expected to provide more relief to persistent issues caused by the storm, including evacuees still in hotels and mold in homes that were flooded.