De Blasio Announces $108M For Sandy-Hit Project

NEW YORK (AP) -

Almost two years after Superstorm Sandy struck, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday that a storm-damaged Brooklyn housing project will get $108 million in federal relief, and said he expects Sandy funds to flow to other public housing developments as well.

“This is a model that we know will help us in at least 15 other major … developments,” de Blasio said at the Coney Island Houses.

The October 2012 storm dumped water and sand into the basements and first floors of the Coney Island Houses, crippling the buildings’ electrical and mechanical systems and leaving residents without power for 22 days.

The FEMA money, part of a package of previously approved funds, will go toward building an elevated boiler building and installing a flood barrier system and stand-by generators.

Sen. Charles Schumer, who joined de Blasio for the announcement, said, “If you’re going to spend all this money, don’t just do the same thing, make it better.”

De Blasio lauded his administration’s efforts to help New Yorkers still recovering from Sandy, with 563 homeowners receiving reimbursement checks, and said his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, did not do enough.

“I have respect for everyone in the previous administration. I am sure they were trying their best but the formula was not a good formula,” he said.

Schumer said helping Sandy-affected homeowners was not Bloomberg’s first priority.

“Every executive makes choices,” Schumer said. “The previous mayor, Mayor Bloomberg, did a great job on resiliency — the subways, our harbors, the sands on the beaches, etc. — that was his first choice. When Mayor de Blasio came in we talked early on and said we’ve got to do more on housing.”