Sandy victims vent NY Rising frustrations at Hofstra

Residents say they have not yet received funds from the program that would allow them to rebuild their homes after Superstorm Sandy.

Residents say they have not yet received funds from the program that would allow them to rebuild their homes after Superstorm Sandy. (4/7/15)

HEMPSTEAD - New York Rising officials updated some angry homeowners at a public meeting today at Hofstra University in Hempstead.

The meeting started as a presentation by the state agency to the Long Island Regional Planning Council. It quickly became a forum for frustrated Long Islanders who aren't back in their homes 2 ½ years after Sandy.

Jon Kaiman, of New York Rising, says it’s not as simple as cutting a check.

“There are thousands of variations of how our program applies to the individual homeowners and everybody comes to us expecting the program is going to work for them…but we have to apply these budget rules to individual circumstances.”

Michele Middleman, of Sandy Victims Fighting FEMA, says New York Rising is doing an OK job but that more needs to be done to speed up funding repairs.

“I still have members in my group who are still homeless…living in trailers, living in basements with children who have been homeless since they were born,” said Middleman. “People have committed suicide, it's awful out there.”

Kaiman maintains that the goal is to get everyone “across the finishing line” but releasing the money is a complicated process.

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