City Seeks Additional $100M For Build It Back Program

Peter Haskell
January 23, 2020 - 3:01 pm
Fixed Sandy Home

Peter Haskell/WCBS 880

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — More than seven years after Superstorm Sandy, the city says it needs more money to finish up any remaining repair and recovery efforts as some homeowners continue to wait to be made whole.

The city estimates another nearly $100 million will be needed to fund the Build It Back program, which was launched in 2013 to help rebuild Sandy-damaged homes and raise properties in flood zones.

The additional funding would cover buying out damaged property, paying contractors, closing construction permits and reviewing open legal issues, the director of the Mayor’s Office for Housing Recovery told the Wall Street Journal.

"Well, the city needs more money because they mismanaged the money that they did receive," said Staten Island Assembly member Nicole Malliotakis, who has been a persistent critic.

She thinks the city routinely overpaid for work.

"There have been incidents where homes that were valued at roughly $300,000 to $400,000 costs a million or more to rebuild," Malliotakis said

The city contends $42 million dollars of new funding will come from its budget to help close out the program, and they'd look to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to pick up the tab for another $50 million.

Comptroller Scott Stringer finds that troubling. 

"The more you are over budget, the more we have to take money away from other vital resources," Stringer said. "We don't want to see money wasted on bureaucracy and false promises, and that's been something I've pointed out for the last six years."

The city says the federal money has been allocated but needs to be redirected.

It insists very little work still needs to be finished and contends most homeowners are back.