NEW YORK, N.Y. – April 28, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, Congressmen Gregory W. Meeks (D-Southeast Queens, Rockaway, Nassau) and Hakeem Jeffries (D- Brooklyn, Queens) held a press conference on the steps of New York City Hall, calling on the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan not to redirect desperately needed Sandy aid funding to other areas of the country.
Earlier this week, Rep. Meeks and 13 members of the New York Delegation issued a letter Department of Housing and Urban Development to Secretary Shaun Donovan, urging “immediate assistance to ensure that members’ offices received appropriate briefings and consultations as soon as possible on both the process and preliminary budget figures under consideration, and prior to HUD releasing any information regarding the aforementioned to the public”.
Congressman Meeks further made the following statement, “While my district has made considerable progress since Superstorm Sandy, much remains to be done to restore our communities and regain economic activities to their past levels. This will not be achievable if funds are reallocated to different projects and regions. I am urging HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan to provide the necessary information to member offices as soon as possible, and we are resolute in our commitment to ensuring that federal funding that was originally intended for New York Sandy relief remains in New York and available for our communities.”
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said, “A year and a half later, thousands of New Yorkers are still struggling to rebuild their homes and businesses in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. It is perplexing to me, as a representative of some of the hardest hit communities in the City, that the Department of Housing and Urban Development would consider redirecting funds to areas outside of the Northeast absent significant consultation. Until the communities devastated by Sandy in New York and New Jersey have been fully rebuilt, the reallocation of federal resources should be off the table.”
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Harlem, Upper Manhattan, the Bronx) said, “As the Dean of the Delegation, I am very proud that we worked tirelessly to obtain federal funding for rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy devastated our communities. It is imperative that the Secretary inform us on how these funds are being allocated and that the funds be used appropriately.”
Rep. José E. Serrano (D-Bronx) said, “New York is still in the process of recovering from Super Storm Sandy, and there remains much to be done in New York City and elsewhere. Funds allocated to New York for the recovery should stay in New York for the recovery. This was the clear first priority of the disaster relief appropriations bill that passed last year, and it should remain so until the recovery is complete.”
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn) said, “Congress acted to provide the communities affected by Superstorm Sandy with the resources they need to recover New York and the other areas impacted by Sandy continue to have many unmet needs and our delegation is standing together to make sure that those funds aren’t diverted.”
Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, Queens) said, “We must use every tool at our disposal to assist New York working families and small businesses still struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy. To that end HUD should not reallocate resources that Congress expressly authorized for New York’s recovery.”
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola) said, “Superstorm Sandy caused unprecedented damage to the densely populated New York Metropolitan area. The on-going rebuilding effort has cost billions of dollars and more federal assistance is needed to finish the work in our towns, villages and municipalities. Although these communities have made tremendous progress, the job is not done. This funding is vital to ensure that our communities can finish rebuilding so that our families and businesses can finally return home.”
Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) said, “While I am heartened to see New Yorkers finally begin to rebound from the devastating impact of Superstorm Sandy, the reality for many families and businesses is that the road to recovery is far from over. There is no question that a great need for federal funding remains, and we must ensure that the communities impacted by the storm have the resources they need to recover.”
Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) said, “New York deserves to receive the federal funding that it was promised to aid in Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts. That’s why my colleagues and I are calling on HUD Secretary Donovan to allocate the remaining disaster funds to the Sandy-affected region. We will continue to fight to ensure that all those affected by Sandy are receiving adequate federal resources.”
Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southhampton) said, “Our first priority must remain addressing the needs of New York’s communities devastated by Superstorm Sandy. Communities on Long Island continue to rebuild and we must ensure that the resources we fought so hard for are not diverted elsewhere until the final task is complete.”
Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Staten Island, Brooklyn) said, “The mere suggestion that HUD would use the Sandy relief my colleagues and I fought for in Congress in order to fund a nation-wide design competition while so many New Yorkers are still struggling to get back in their homes is appalling, and something I will fight tooth-and-nail.”