It's been nearly a year since Hurricane Sandy ravaged New York City, resulting in $19 billion dollars worth of damage and economic losses. To this day, there's still $648 million in federal aid intended for recovery efforts that remains unused.
The Wall Street Journal notes that a woman in Staten Island whose house was severely damaged is the only person to receive any of that money. City Director for Housing Recovery Brad Gair called this "absurd." According to Gair, it's been so difficult to dole the money out because of post-Hurricane Katrina federal protocol and the muffled sense of urgency.
"It's very, very difficult to get this money. It's very hard to explain to people. It's very hard to keep their trust in a process like this," he explained.
The money comes from a $60 billion aid package that Congress passed at the beginning of the year. It was intended to help families forced to relocate or are that struggling to pay rent and mortgages in the wake of the superstorm. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Mayor Bloomberg's old HPD Commissioner, is responsible for handing out the money.
Gothamist notes that, back in June, Bloomberg praised Donovan for "[helping the city slash red tape and get work done as quickly as possible."