Sandy victims, NY Rising officials meet in Freeport
SEAFORD - Superstorm Sandy victims who have not yet received federal funds to rebuild their homes met with officials from the New York Rising program Monday evening in Freeport.
Jon Kaiman, who runs the New York Rising program, tried to explain to Long Island residents in attendance why so few have received any federal grant money 13 months after the storm.
Lawmakers had approved about $1 billion to help Long Island homeowners rebuild.
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Six weeks ago, Kaiman told News 12 that checks were ready to be sent to thousands of homeowners in need. He confirmed that only six homeowners have actually been paid.
“The checks are ready to go. The money is there,” Kaiman said Monday. “That's why we issued letters telling people they now have an estimated cost of repair. We then have to verify that the money is going to fix the home. We are giving away lots of money. We have to make sure the money is spent properly.”
Seaford resident Steve Conklin lost his home in the storm more than a year ago. He says the $100,000 he is eligible for has not yet come, which has held up his plans to rebuild.
“People shouldn’t have to wait this long,” said Conklin.
Kaiman says about 20,000 homes are in their system. The average homeowner will receive about $110,000 of federal money to rebuild.