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NY gets nearly $3.5B in Sandy development aid

U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks at

U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks at a press conference on gun violence. (Jan. 6, 2013) Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

WASHINGTON -- New York will get nearly $3.5 billion in the first release of community development block grant funds from the $50.5 billion superstorm Sandy relief act approved last week, Sen. Charles Schumer said Tuesday.

Of that amount, New York City will receive about $1.8 billion and New York State will administer $1.7 billion for recovery from the storm's damage, said Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Nassau and Suffolk counties are expected to be included in the state's action plan for its funds, which must be approved by federal housing officials.

The funds can be used for housing repairs or replacement costs not covered by other sources; repairs for uninsured small businesses, and affordable housing and community development in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.

"This first allocation of federal funds recognizes the substantial need that the governor has fought for to rebuild the many homes, businesses and communities on Long Island and across the state that were damaged by Sandy," said Matthew Wing, spokesman for New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

New York's share accounted for nearly two-thirds of the $5.4 billion that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is releasing this week as the first installment of the $16 billion in community development block grants in the relief act.

"With this first $5.4 billion allocation, the work it took to pass the Sandy aid bill is starting to pay off," Schumer said.

Of the $5.4 billion, HUD allotted $1.8 billion to New Jersey, $71.8 million to Connecticut, $8.6 million to Maryland and $3.2 million to Rhode Island.

Meanwhile, the first $2 billion in transit aid from the Sandy relief act is being made available for local transit agencies, including the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Long Island Rail Road, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced this week.

Transit agencies in the 12 states with disaster declarations from Sandy can apply for funds for storm-related work.

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