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Coney Island Houses gets $108M in Sandy aid

A Sandy-ravaged housing project in Coney Island will get $108 million in federal money to repair and fortify the buildings, New York officials announced Friday.

If federal officials follow the same funding formula for other city public housing projects affected by the 2012 superstorm, the city could get $1 billion, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said.

"Out of the tragedy of Sandy comes something that is pretty darn good," Schumer said outside the five-building complex, which abuts the boardwalk.

The money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay for storm-resistant boilers, standby generators, floor protection systems and surveillance cameras at the 535-unit Coney Island Houses -- "so many things that will create a better environment here," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. The work is to begin next summer.

The mayor said the city wants to do similar work on at least 15 other major projects, including in Red Hook, the Rockaways and the Lower East Side.

Brigitte Purvis, 50, a community college worker who's lived in the project for 37 years, recalled a harrowing two weeks after Sandy hit.

"I pray that we'll go on to have a better future," said Purvis, who lives there with two of her sons.

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