Jon Kaiman, the head of NY Rising, said Hurricane Sandy victims still waiting for federal aid funds should receive checks in “coming weeks” so that they can start to rebuild their homes.
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Most of the $98 million in aid that has already been distributed has gone to reimburse people who have already rebuilt their homes, and NY Rising is waiting for the Department of Housing and Urban Development to approve more funds before the state program can distribute them to homeowners, Kaiman told News 12. Said Kaiman:
"In terms of the order that HUD is allowing us to release the funds, there are different types of verifications that may need to take place from HUD's standpoint."
In Long Beach, while many resident have rebuilt and returned to their homes after the storm that struck 14 months ago, many others remain displaced and still await funds from various government programs, including New York Rising.
Annemarie Connell, a Long Beach resident who is still waiting to move back into her rebuilt home on West Beech Street, wrote on the City of Long Beach’s Facebook page Thursday in response to the News 12 report:
“I received a phone call right before Christmas saying a check was being sent and to this day nada. I already put out $320,000 to have my house raised and still need this money to complete... My case worker knows nothing about the checks either. This phone call got my hopes up and now I give up.”Another resident, Sherry Egan, wrote: “I received a check last Thursday. My case worker called and left a message stating that we needed to ‘go over’ the award letter. Turns out they ‘miscalculated’ and gave us too much. Now we have to go return the check and have a new (much less) one issued. Talk about a blow to the mind!!!!”
In protest of the red tape and other unresolved bureaucratic matters involved in receiving the funds, organizations such as Sandy Victims Fighting FEMA formed and staged rallies last year demanding that these programs make payments to eligible homeowners.
Kaiman will hold a public meeting about the funds at the South Nassau Unitarian Congregation, 228 S. Ocean Ave. in Freeport, at 7 p.m. Jan. 20.