Sandy aid for CT residents faces delays

New Haven residents will have a bit longer to wait to receive aid for damage wrought by last year’s Hurricane Sandy.

Last week, the state announced that individuals can apply for a part of the $72 million fund that Connecticut received from the U.S. Housing and Development Agency. But due to unspecified delays, those affected by last year’s hurricane are still unable to receive those funds, though nonprofit organizations can receive part of a separate $10.5 million fund announced by Gov. Dannel Malloy last week.

“Getting this funding into the hands of those nonprofits in the region to assist in the continuing recovery after Superstorm Sandy is important,” Department of Social Services Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby said in a press release accompanying the announcement. “This particular block of funding will deliver a wide array of services for some of our most vulnerable populations.”

While the hurricane struck almost a year ago, New Haven homeowners have only recently been able to apply for federal aid to help repair damage left by Sandy. But even now state officials are uncertain as to precisely how and when residents will receive funds.

Although the website where homeowners can apply for funds looks complete, the system actually prevents submitting an application for federal aid. Residents can upload their financial information, fill in online surveys, explain their appeal and simply save what they have processed — without actually being able to send in the application.

The funds for nonprofits, however, are available now.

“These disaster recovery funds will play a large role in helping those most impacted by the storm rebuild and regain services in the hardest-hit areas,” Malloy said.

Hurricane Sandy, which made landfall in New Jersey last October, affected 24 states, with most of its damage in New England. Yale closed its doors — which it has rarely done in its centuries-long history — out of concern for the safety of those on campus, as well as those who must commute to the University, and most of the city shut down as well. Kenneth Jackson ’17, who hails from nearby Woodbridge, Conn., praised the immediate response in the area.

“There were officials and preparations on the ground before Sandy hit, and although it took a while to restore power to my house, I have heard very positive things about FEMA and general response to the storm,” Jackson said.

The Robin Hood Foundation, the organization that presented a Sandy Relief concert in New York City, states on its website that it dispersed over $70 million in grant money to more than 400 smaller organizations in the tristate area. According to the Foundation, over $1 million of its funds went to organizations in Connecticut — a small amount compared to the $72 million set aside for homeowners and $10.5 million for nonprofits.

Hurricane Sandy directly caused 148 deaths.

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