Red tape still holding up some LI homeowners from rebuilding 19 months after Sandy

Many Long Island homeowners still lack the funds

Many Long Island homeowners still lack the funds to finish rebuilding homes destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. (Credit: News 12 Long Island)

ISLAND PARK - Although Sandy hit Long Island 19 months ago, red tape is holding back some Long Islanders from rebuilding.

Cathy Corbett’s Island Park home was destroyed by Sandy. Cathy, her husband Bill and their four teenage children now share an apartment across town. The Corbetts have had to take out loans against their pensions to pay their mortgage as they pay rent.

They received $90,000 from New York Rising to start their rebuild months ago, but still need money to finish the home. They are hoping more funds from New York Rising will come, but Corbett isn’t confident they will.

“When I call, they have no idea what I’m talking about,” she says.

Michelle Mittleman, of Sandy Victims Fighting FEMA, says many other Long Islanders are bogged down with red tape, whether they’re trying to sell their home, rebuild or get help with rent. Contractors like Ben Jackson, of Freeport, say they’re ready to do work, but that they can’t because so many haven’t received the funds to rebuild.

“We haven’t done any storm work in three or four months,” he says. “Considering where we are, that’s really what we should be doing.”

News 12 Long Island reached out to New York Rising about the status of the Corbetts’ case, but has not heard back.

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