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Nearly 40,000 LI households to get FEMA housing grants

Neighbors Joe Valentino, left, and Chaim Lazarus get

Neighbors Joe Valentino, left, and Chaim Lazarus get out Sunday to survey the damage from superstorm Sandy along New Hampshire Street in Long Beach. (Nov. 4, 2012) Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales

Nearly 40,000 households across Long Island have been approved for housing grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, officials said Sunday.

Separately, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the state had secured a $27-million federal grant to hire 5,000 workers for post-Sandy cleanup.

The latest figures show more than 31,000 homeowners and renters in Nassau have been approved for $224.6 million in aid. In Suffolk, more than 7,000 households have qualified for $47.4 million, FEMA spokesman John Mills said.

Statewide, $664 million in emergency aid money has been approved. The grants do not need to be paid back and go to those whose primary residence is either uninsured or underinsured and who are in need of temporary rental assistance or immediate home repairs.

Valuable training and work experience will benefit those involved in the rebuilding, according to Cuomo.

"This funding will not only provide young people and the unemployed with the opportunity to participate in cleaning up and rebuilding communities devastated by the storm, but it will provide valuable work experience and on-the-job training that can be useful in future careers," he said in a statement.

A Cuomo administration official said the state Department of Labor will administer the funding, which will be earmarked for local jurisdictions based on demonstrated need.

Additionally, the state has partnered with FEMA to hire another 700 New York residents to work for the federal agency, replacing current employees from other states who have been dispatched for post-Sandy work in New York.

More than 900 FEMA inspectors have now conducted more than 131,000 home inspections statewide as part of determining eligibility for the aid, which is set at $31,900 per household.

Housing grant figures for New York City as of Sunday were: Queens, $170.4 million; Brooklyn, $139.1 million; Staten Island, $70.4 million; Manhattan, $8.2 million; and the Bronx, $1.5 million.

The State Department of Labor will work with communities to identify cleanup areas and deploy workers to job sites.

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