FREEPORT - Some Superstorm Sandy victims will be spending their second consecutive Thanksgiving without their home, due to slow-moving federal funds.
Billy Reidman, of Freeport, and his fiancee say they received a letter from the New York Rising community restructuring program six weeks ago saying that he was eligible for a grant. Reidman says he has not yet seen any federal funds. Meanwhile, Freeport officials have ordered him to demolish what was left of his house at his own expense.
"The whole holidays, the whole year has been rough,” Reidman told News 12. “Everything is upside down."
He says he was incensed to learn that the Rising program, which is funded by FEMA, has already delivered $30 million to reimburse Long Beach for its boardwalk rebuilding costs.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says FEMA funds are distributed on a completely different schedule between infrastructure reimbursements and reimbursements for families.
"Money should be flowing over the next couple of weeks. That's the good news,” said Cuomo. “I totally share the frustration that a year seems like a long time."
State Sen. Phil Boyle told News 12 that the federal government and the governor should be putting homeowners first, and worry about infrastructure reimbursements at a later date.
Reidman says he has not received any timeframe in which he will receive the money needed to move forward the rebuilding process.