Sandy’s CT Tally: $505 Million In Federal Aid, And Counting; Damage Over $1B

by Categorized: Government, Housing, Public finance Date:

Connecticut sustained damages from storm Sandy totaling at least $1 billion, a total that includes direct public and private losses but not the economic effects of lost work due to the power outages.

And to help compensate, the federal government has kicked in $505 million so far, including $65 million in a second round of housing repair money that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and federal officials announced Monday.

Of that total, $320 million has been used, as tallied by the governor’s long-term storm recovery committee, headed by Mike Lettieri of the Department of Economic and Community Development and George Bradner of the Department of Insurance.

The amounts for Connecticut are vastly smaller than those of New York and New Jersey. For example, in U.S. Housing and Urban Development block grant funding alone, those two states received a total of $10.1 billion, or 75 times the amount Connecticut received.

Click here for a report on FEMA aid for Sandy victims.

Following is a breakdown of the major sources of federal aid to Connecticut:

  •  $220 million paid to homeowners and businesses from the National Flood Insurance Program, part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • $72 million from HUD for authorized repairs, announced over the summer, now being administered through the state Department of Housing, online and through intake centers in East Haven, Milford, Fairfield and Norwalk
  • $65 million in a second round of HUD grant money announced by Malloy Monday
  • $43 million in low-interest disaster loans from the Small Business Administration
  • $42 million in FEMA aid to municipalities
  • $14 million in emergency housing aid from FEMA
  • $10.5 million to help pay for social services and health, including mental health, and to repair health facilities, administered by the state Department of Social Services
  • $8 million to support public and private historic sites, administered by the state DECD
  • $4.5 million in transportation funding for preparation and repairs
  • $3 million for coastal restoration and resiliency, projects such as dam removals, from the Department of the Interior, administered by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection — in addition to $25 million shared by the entire Northeast region.

Monday’s announcement of $65 million was made in Milford, arguably the hardest hit Connecticut municipality, with the total loss of 200 to 250 homes, according to Bill Richards, recovery coordinator for the town. The money is for damage to single-family houses and multi-family buildings that was not eligible for insurance or other federal aid, and to upgrade houses to meet stricter coastal building codes, including raising foundations.

It comes even as the state is just starting to spend the previous allocation of $72 million for the same purposes.

“This additional $65 million will provide a tremendous boost to the efforts currently underway to help residents and communities that are still feeling the effects from this historic storm,” Malloy said in a written release.

As for the total amount of federal aid to Connecticut, “We’re grateful for what we’ve received to date,” said Malloy spokesman Peter Yazbak, “But we’re due for more federal funding for our recovery efforts.”
Some of the federal money has come in later than expected, he said, including aid for historic properties.

“Funding can never come fast enough after a disaster but we’re doing aggressive outreach to make sure people know there is money they can apply for,” Yazbak said.

The governor’s office released a figure of $770 million for total damage from the storm, but that number is clearly a moving target, and an elusive one. the figure included $493 millionin personal and commercial insurance; the $220 million in flood insurance payments; and $57 million in public and individual assistance.

The figure did not include all of the uncovered physical damage to buildings and property, and it did not include the roughly $200 million in recovery spending by Connecticut Light & Power Co. and United Illuminating.

And the programs keep coming. On Tuesday, the anniversary of the storm, Malloy is set to make a “major announcement on shoreline resiliency” in New London.

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