"It's frustrating": Island Park homeowner still struggling 7 years post-Sandy

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It's been seven years since Superstorm Sandy slammed Long Island, and some homeowners are still struggling to recover.

Laura Hassett, of Island Park, says her house was flooded so badly that it had to be raised.

"Once I heard my husband say there is a fish in the house, I went upstairs and said 'I'm done,'" she says.

Hassett just moved back into her Island Park home last month, and workers are still finishing up. But she says she's now a half a million dollars in debt because a New York Rising-approved contractor walked off the job after taking hundreds of thousands of dollars of repair aid and then allowing the house to fall into disrepair.

She says they then had to take out a loan to pay for a new contractor to restart the entire repair.

Now Hassett says New York Rising denies paying her back for the repairs, even though she says the agency had approved the contractor and was supposed to monitor progress.

"It's frustrating. It makes me nervous that this kind of money is over my head. We were mandated to do this, we had a beautiful home, our lives were fine before this," said Hassett. "If you are going to mandate families to raise their homes to protect their properties, then we need to put in place the proper oversight."

Sen. Todd Kaminsky says the Hassetts aren't alone and other homeowners have also been victimized by bad contractors. He is demanding that the agency repay the Hassetts more money.

"I am urging New York Rising to award the Hassetts more money so they can be made whole," Kaminsky said in a phone interview. "And we are gonna keep that pressure on."

New York Rising and the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery told News 12 in a statement that it is reconsidering the denial saying: "In order to provide as much assistance as possible for this family, GOSR is currently reviewing additional documentation submitted after the September determination."

The GOSR says it does not recommend or approve contractors for homeowners’ projects.
 

 

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