September 6, 2014

KATRINA ON THE HUDSON: Hurricane Sandy Recovery Program in New York City Was Mired by Its Design.

The night Hurricane Sandy struck, Jayme and John Galimi swam out the front door of their home in Broad Channel, Queens, into the rising waters of Jamaica Bay with their five children, the youngest clinging to his father’s back.

Almost two years later, all seven remain jammed into a three-bedroom rental. Their debt is mounting. They applied to a federally funded New York City program for help rebuilding, but that devolved into an unending loop of lost documents, aborted meetings and frustrating exchanges with temporary workers handling their application.

A low point came in January, when the couple arrived for an appointment at the intake center to hear what construction work would be covered. But they were met by blank looks.

“Nobody knew why we were there,” Ms. Galimi said. “Again.”

So it’s basically the Healthcare.gov approach to disaster recovery.

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