Superstorm Sandy aid money released

Superstorm Sandy aid money released

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Sen. Charles Schumer says New York is getting nearly $3.5 billion in the first release of funds from the $50.5 billion emergency relief measure enacted last month for Superstorm Sandy victims.

The first allotment of funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will be released this week and will go toward housing and rebuilding efforts.

Of the $3.5 billion, Schumer says New York State will get $1.7 billion and New York City will get nearly $1.8 billion.

Schumer says further details on the specific projects and geographic distribution will be released in mid-February.

New York City plans to use some of its federal Sandy recovery money for grants to homeowners to fix their properties. The city also says it will install generators at public housing complexes and hold a competition to create storm-resilience technology.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg outlined the city's plans Wednesday for the nearly $1.8 billion in community development block grants.

They represent only part of the funding the city expects to get from the package Congress approved last month.

The plans also include grants and loans for businesses and a contest for utilities to make investments in hardening their systems against storms.

Another element is a competition intended to spur economic growth in five heavily damaged areas.

The Oct. 29 storm was one of the worst to strike the Northeast and is blamed for more than 130 deaths and tens of billions of dollars in property damage.

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