Cuomo Releases Plans for $1.7B in Sandy Funds

NEW YORK (AP) -

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced statewide plans Tuesday to use $1.7 billion in federal storm-damage funds for home repairs, government buyouts of property in flood-prone areas, low-interest loans, flood-prevention measures and other recovery work.

Most of the money will go to homeowners and businesses hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy last October. It also will be used for improvements at hospitals and nursing homes evacuated during Sandy.

And some funds will be used to repair damage from storms Irene and Lee.

Sandy “was the worst storm to hit New York state and our region in recorded history,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This plan … will serve as a blueprint to guide our housing and private sector recovery.”

The money will be used around the state, including on Long Island, under the so-called Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program. The exception is New York City, which has a separate allocation.

The governor said more than $230 million will be used for home repair and reconstruction, more than $170 million to cover voluntary buyouts to residents in flood areas, and nearly $260 million to reduce the risk of future damage.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development still has to approve the projects. Severely damaged coastal fishing operations also would benefit, as would Long Island’s tourism industry.