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Queens Chronicle

HURRICANE SANDY: The FIRST ANNIVERSARY More Sandy money is coming in 2014

Schumer: $6.3B expected for state

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Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:12 am, Thu Nov 7, 2013.

Sen Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced this week that New York State is set to receive an estimated $6.3 billion in further Sandy-relief funding in 2014.

The money is allocated from the $61 billion Sandy aid package that was approved earlier this year by Congress. According to Schumer, less than one-third of the money has been spent.

Of the $6.3 billion to be allocated next year, the senator said $1.4 billion will be sent directly to benefit homeowners in New York, $2.5 billion for additional FEMA obligations, $1.5 billion for transportation projects, $200 million for Army Corps projects in the state, $200 million for green infrastructure, $274 million in health funds, and $207 million in major veterans’ construction projects, such as renovating the Manhattan VA Hospital, which was damaged by the storm.

“The spigot is finally on, and the aid is now flowing,” Schumer said in a statement released Monday. “Things moved too slow in the first year — there were bureaucratic hurdles to overcome and red tape to cut — but now the programs are up and running.”

Since the storm, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has given roughly $1 billion in individual assistance to storm victims, according to a report issued by Schumer’s office this week. New York has also received over $2.1 billion in public assistance from FEMA, which covers repairs to local and state facilities.

Further, the agency has paid out more than $3.7 billion in flood insurance claims under the National Flood Insurance Program as of Monday and the Small Business Administration has approved more than $1.5 billion in low-interest disaster loans.

More than $3.5 billion has been allocated for Community Development Block Grants, which focus on housing recovery and economic development. They have been slow to be awarded because of the complexity of building disbursement mechanisms and little has reached homeowners in 2013, Schumer said. He added that he expects that to change next year.

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