By Sally Goldenberg
February 24, 2014
Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to deliver a blueprint for Hurricane Sandy victims “in the coming weeks,” during a press conference on Monday afternoon that was light on details about the city’s slow recovery effort.
“My colleagues here are making clear how many people are still hurting, how many people are still experiencing Sandy in a very sharp way, and how much we have to do better at our response,” said de Blasio, who stood with eight elected officials from the island, one of the hardest-hit areas in the city. “All levels of government have to do better.”
He declined, however, to answer questions on how he plans to improve the city’s Build it Back program, which is tasked with helping New Yorkers whose homes were damaged by the storm, with the aid of federal reimbursements.
“It’s self-evident that the pace has been a profound problem,” he said, vowing to “play a very hands-on role to fix some of these problems.”
An advocacy group called Alliance for a Just Rebuilding rallied outside City Hall on Monday to urge immediate action, noting construction work has yet to start on a single home.
De Blasio did not commit to using governemnt resources to buy land for redevelopment, a proposal Staten Island Borough President James Oddo enthusiastically backed during the news conference.
“I am not ready to endorse a specific plan,” the mayor said.