Posted by Bobby Whithorne, White House Assistant Press Secretary
"There's nothing more important than us getting this right. And we're going to spend as much time, effort and energy as necessary to make sure that all the people in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut know that the entire country is behind them in this difficult recovery effort. We are going to put not just 100 percent, but 120 percent behind making sure that they get the resources they need to rebuild and recover.” -- President Obama, November 3, 2012
Nearly one year ago, communities across a dozen states in the Northeast experienced the devastating and tragic effects of Hurricane Sandy. Communities were shattered, families were torn apart, homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed, and lives were upended. But brick by brick, block by block, we are rebuilding. The impacted communities will come back stronger and the federal government will continue to stand right by their side as we continue to recover and rebuild.
Over the past year:
The Obama Administration has provided direct assistance to more than 230,000 people and small businesses in the form of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) individual assistance, Small Business Administration (SBA) grants and loans and Department of Labor (DOL) employment and training services.
Further, the administration has announced over $39.7 billion in funding for recipients, and more than $13.5 billion of this has already been paid out. This includes:
- More than $1.4 billion that FEMA has provided directly to more than 182,000 individuals impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
- More than $2.4 billion in low-interest loans through the SBA to individuals and businesses.
- More than $3.2 billion in FEMA assistance to state, local and tribal governments for emergency protective measures, debris removal, and repair and replacement of infrastructure in the hardest hit areas.
- $10.4 billion in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), including $5.4 billion of CDBG-DR funds allocated within 8 days of the signing of the Sandy-supplemental into law. This represented the fastest ever allocation following the signing of an appropriations bill.
- More than 26,000 households have already been assisted through CDBG housing programs across the region, with more than $157 million paid out to these beneficiaries.
- Already more than $2 billion in infrastructure funds are at work in dozens of projects across the region.
- More than $5.7 billion made available from the Federal Transit Administration, and the Federal Highway Administration has announced more than $500 million for recovery efforts.
- $569 million in grants from the EPA to New York and New Jersey for improvements to wastewater and drinking water treatment facilities.
- More than $74 million in FEMA Hazard Mitigation grants to implement long-term mitigation measures to minimize or prevent future damages.
- More than $28 million in Disaster Unemployment Assistance to disaster survivors.
- $47 million in National Emergency Grants from DOL's Employment and Training Administration, which also helped more than 11,000 individuals who lost their jobs as a result of Sandy receive approximately $13.2 million.
- More than $50 million in Disaster Case Management to connect disaster survivors to resources and services of multiple agencies.
- $6.2 million obligated by the Department of Agriculture for 22 projects which covered emergency food assistance, as well as infrastructure and economic programs. Some of these projects helped repair, rehabilitate and rebuild farmland, watersheds and flood plains.
- More than $7.9 billion paid out to the more than 143,000 National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders who filed claims. More than 99% of NFIP claims are closed.
Other efforts include:
- FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers worked with State and local governments to reopen 97% of public beaches from New Jersey through Connecticut by Memorial Day 2013 – sending a strong message to thousands of Americans that the shore was open for business.
- FHA and FHFA protected thousands of families who, through no fault of their own, were at risk of foreclosure as a result of Sandy – first by putting in place a foreclosure moratorium and then by cutting red tape to offer families streamlined loan modification.
Editor's Note: This was originally posted on the White House blog on October 28