New York City buys Sandy-damaged home from Staten Island woman

Kemberly Richardson reports from Staten Island
October 10, 2013 2:53:25 PM PDT
New York City announced the first acquisition of a Hurricane Sandy-damaged home by the city through NYC Build it Back, a Federally-funded, city program to assist homeowners, landlords and tenants in the five boroughs whose properties were impacted by the storm.

The first home to be acquired was the Tottenville, Saten Island home of Patricia Dresch, whose husband, George, and 13-year-old daughter, Angela, were killed during the storm.

She will use the funding from the acquisition to purchase a new home in Tottenville.

The body of Angela was found under debris on an adjoining street, the first confirmed death in the storm.

George Dresch's body was discovered in a wooded area blocks away from the 687 Yetman Avenue home.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg made the announcement about the acquisition with Dresch Thursday at Staten Island Borough Hall.

"I lived there 30 years, my family passed there, I didn't want to know that property anymore," said Dresch. "Now I am able to move on, to start a new a new chapter in my life, I have a whole new identity to live, I'm a whole new person now."

Bloomberg says more than 25,000 New Yorkers have signed up for the program. But it's unclear how many want to sell their homes.

The city says it will facilitate the redevelopment of properties acquired through NYC Build It Back in a more resilient way.

"Since Hurricane Sandy, the city has spent more than $1 billion on response and recovery work, including reopening schools, public housing and hospitals," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We're happy to be helping Pat today, and we'll continue to help everyone else who's eligible just as quickly as we can."

But Bloomberg added the ongoing shutdown of the federal government could affect plans to buy other properties.