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$2.5B in Sandy aid headed to New York, New Jersey

  • Article by: GEOFF MULVIHILL
  • Associated Press
  • May 23, 2014 - 5:15 PM

A plan is in place for disbursing nearly $2.5 billion in additional federal aid to New Jersey, New York City and New York state for Superstorm Sandy recovery, a government official said Friday.

The third round of funding under the community development block grant program will bring the total amount headed to the city and two state governments to nearly $13 billion.

The funding is a major piece of the $50 billion Congress approved last year to pay for recovery of the October 2012 storm, which was blamed for at least 182 deaths in the United States and an estimated $65 billion in damage. The aid is particularly noteworthy because it's the piece of federal aid the state governments and New York City get to distribute as they see fit.

Much of the money is being used to pay for home repairs not covered by other government programs or insurance. The plans from the city and state governments are subject to approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The block grant funding was being disbursed to state and local governments in three rounds.

The official who provided the numbers has knowledge of the third-round plan but spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it has not yet been made public.

The official said New York City will get $994 million, New Jersey $882 million and New York state $606 million. Connecticut will get $21 million and Rhode Island $671,000. Maryland, which received money in the earlier allocations, is not in line for any this time.

New York City's allocation includes $640 million for housing recovery. Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday that the money ensures the city will be able to support all of the approximately 20,000 homeowners in its Build-It-Back rebuilding and repair program.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement Friday confirming the state's share of the aid and saying the state's priority for the new round of money would be preparing infrastructure to withstand future storms.

Over the three rounds of funding, the totals would come to $4.4 billion for New York state, $4.2 billion each for both New York City and New Jersey, $159 million for Connecticut, $29 million for Maryland and $20 million for Rhode Island.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been critical of the federal government in the past for sending twice as much aid to New York as New Jersey. The newest disbursement plan does not change that.

The federal government will have about $1.1 billion left to distribute after the third round. No plan has been announced for how that remaining money will be used.

The Star-Ledger of Newark, New Jersey, first reported the new aid figures.

© 2014 Star Tribune