New York City residents are outraged by the lack of results from a city-run program that was supposed to help rebuild homes destroyed by Superstorm Sandy 17 months ago. So far, construction has begun on just a handful homes.
Now, according to the Associated Press, the program says it will need $1 billion in additional federal funding to rebuild every home with which they planned to assist.
The Build It Back program received 20,000 applications for reimbursement checks, and only three people have received funds from those applications, reports the New York Daily News. Six homes have seen construction begin through the program, and none have been completed.
The report also states the program has already pledged $1.45 billion in aid to any Sandy victim who lost a home, but so far has only paid out about $100,000 in reimbursements. Now, Build It Back says the program needs another $1 billion just to do the job for which the program was launched.
At a City Council oversight hearing about post-Sandy recovery efforts, victims and members of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration testified Monday, according to CBS New York.
“All I want to do is have my home,” Breezy Point resident Roland Gorton said. “I’m hoping they can help me get back into my house so I can be whole again.”
(MORE: A Look Back at Superstorm Sandy)
The program began during former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's tenure, but officials of the de Blasio administration admitted the the mistakes must be reversed so residents can return to normalcy with rebuilt homes. According to a separate CBS New York report, de Blasio announced a new plan Saturday to reallocate $100 million in funds to help rebuild homes as well as a new team that will lead recovery efforts.
“For many New Yorkers, it’s been the worst 17 months of their lives,” de Blasio said. “Help isn’t just on the way, that help is already here.”
MORE: Superstorm Sandy's Wrath
Long Beach Island, N.J.
In this aerial photograph, heavy equipment pushes sand to restore a barrier dune along the Atlantic Ocean on Long Beach Island, N.J., Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, after the region was pounded by Superstorm Sandy the previous week.