New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has a plan to allocate $1.7 billion in federal aid for disaster-recovery programs. The aid is intended for New Yorkers devastated by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee.
The governor released an action plan Tuesday, detailing how to allocate the initial federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program funding. He says New York is the first affected government entity to submit its plan for approval by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; HUD is coordinating the federal government’s response to Superstorm Sandy. The funding will be distributed around the affected areas of the state, with the exception of New York City, which has a separate allocation.
$415 million would go toward business assistance. $233 million of that total would be for small business grants, including for farming and agricultural operations and non-profits that suffered physical damage or inventory loss as a result of the three storms. That’s good news for Director of Ulster County Emergency Management Art Snyder.
The plan dedicates a lot of money to housing, as Cuomo says as many as 300,000 homes across the state were damaged in some way by Superstorm Sandy alone, and some two-thirds were not covered by flood insurance. Again, here’s Ulster County’s Snyder.
By the Hudson, he refers to homes in both the Town and Village of Saugerties. Cuomo’s plan allocates $663 million to single-family housing, and $124 million to multi-family housing.
Cuomo’s plan calls for the creation of an infrastructure bank to help coordinate infrastructure development and investment across the disaster region. And he wants to establish the Community Reconstruction Zone program to rebuild severely damaged communities.
Alex Gromack is the supervisor of the Rockland County Town of Clarkstown, which was hard hit by Sandy. He says any financial help will be beneficial.
Ulster County’s Art Synder says areas of his county were hit by all three storms, and he praises the governor’s plan for including recovery programs for the three.
The release of Governor Cuomo’s plan begins a seven-day public comment period prior to HUD’s final review.