De Blasio Announces Sandy Rebuilding Changes

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced new leadership and changes to the City’s Sandy rebuilding and recovery team last week.

The mayor appointed Bill Goldstein as the new Senior Advisor to the Mayor for Recovery, Resiliency, and Infrastructure, Amy Peterson will be the new Director of the Housing Recovery Office and Daniel Zarrilli was named the Director of the Office of Recovery and Resiliency.

He also announced that the City will reallocate $100 million to fund rebuilding homes that were destroyed by Superstorm Sandy and start giving checks to homeowners who signed up for City programs such as Build It Back.

The announcements came after concerns were raised about the progress the City had made regarding becoming more resilient from a future storm like Sandy and the leadership to lead those rebuilding efforts. De Blasio had not named a new Sandy leadership team in the four months since he took office.

“Since day one, my administration has prioritized the fast and efficient delivery of relief to affected families, and now we begin to see results,” de Blasio said. “Construction has started, the first checks are on the way, and we are making immediate policy and staff changes to further expedite and streamline the process – so that New Yorkers get the help they need now.”

On Monday, Peterson attended a City Council oversight hearing about Build It Back where she was drilled with questions and testimonies from residents affected by the storm and elected officials.

Both Councilman Eric Ulrich (R- Ozone Park) and Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park) released statements following the oversight hearing. They both attended the hearing and questioned Peterson about the program.

Goldfeder said almost 7,000 households have applied for Build It Back in his district and none of them have gotten the help they need in rebuilding their properties.