The federal government has finally given the go ahead for New York City to spend its first $1.77 billion early this summer for Hurricane Sandy recovery even though Congress approved the funds back in January.
According to The New York Times
, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will announce approval of the spending plan at a news conference on Friday with Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, and Sen. Charles Schumer.
Under the city's plans the funds will be dispensed to homeowners, businesses, and others in need by early summer. The largest portion of the funds, or $648 million, will go to rebuilding homes, and $9 million is earmarked for rental subsidies for low-income renters and people at risk of homelessness.
The remainder of the money will be put to city infrastructure ($360 million) and investments to make the city more resilient to future storms ($294 million). Another $293 million will go on loans, grants, and other programs for businesses.
Although the aid is not enough to cover all the damage caused by the storm, city officials say it will help them to design programs to address the greatest need and leverage other financing, the Times reported. New York is also expecting additional federal funds later in the year.
"The most significant portion of the funding is for housing recovery programs," Caswell Holloway, the city's deputy mayor for operations, told the Times. "The biggest step forward in bringing neighborhoods back is to help people get in their homes."
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