New York City mayor announces Sandy recovery reforms

Rob Nelson reports on new push by Mayor De Blasio to speed up Sandy recovery in which of more than 1000 homes damaged only 9 are under construction.
April 17, 2014 6:37:46 PM PDT
Mayor Bill de Blasio says New York City is aiming to start reconstruction on 500 homes that were wrecked during Superstorm Sandy by the end of the summer.

The mayor unveiled a sweeping report on Thursday that examines the city's recovery progress. He made the announcement from a Staten Island neighborhood that was battered by the storm.

De Blasio says the Build-It-Back program has been "overly complex" and created confusion among homeowners. He says the city will reform the program by providing financial relief to homeowners and engaging local communities in the rebuilding process.

Only nine homes are currently under construction under the federally funded program. Build-It-Back was created by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg to primarily help New Yorkers repair, rebuild and elevate homes.

The report represents a major overhaul of currently active recovery programs, including expediting the process for families and businesses currently rebuilding and expanding eligibility for immediate relief; using the rebuilding and recovery process to expand economic opportunity and create job pathways for more New Yorkers; and improving coordination within the city and across levels of government.

The report also provides details on the city's infrastructure-related efforts to rebuild and strengthen the city to protect against future extreme weather and climate change.

"We can't stand idly by as red tape and bureaucratic bottlenecks prevent far too many New Yorkers from getting the relief they need. That's why, from day one, we prioritized more efficient recovery. And now, we've laid out a blueprint to provide critical financial relief to homeowners and directly engage communities in the rebuilding process?all while continuing our work to ensure a stronger and more resilient New York," said de Blasio.