Sandy Money Helping (Some)
While homeowners await help from Build It Back, the city run program designed to assist homeowners recover from losses sustained from Sandy, New York State announced that it is handing out money to healthcare and social service providers and community-based organizations. Governor Cuomo’s office said 450 providers will be awarded $200 million of Sandy relief funds.
Some of that money is headed to Rockaway. And some of the recipients are among the more notorious entities on the peninsula. The Park Inn, the dilapidated building on the boardwalk between Beach 116th and Beach 115th Streets will be receiving $1.4 million dollars. Neighbors and nearby merchants have long complained about the building and its panhandling, unstable occupants. The Belle Harbor Manor on Beach 125th Street, another adult home that irks locals will be in line for $1.5 million.
According to the governor’s office, the $200 million in grants will provide $65 million for repair, rebuilding and renovation costs; $52 million for unreimbursed operating costs during and after Sandy; and $72 million for ongoing or new services to meet continuing needs of Sandy-impacted New Yorkers. The Governor’s report did not indicate specifically how monies would be spent in particular facilities.
Ocean Village, the apartment complex at Beach 59th Street, undergoing extensive cosmetic improvements is in line to receive $1 million dollars. The “Ocean Village Recovery Project” will receive its grant to “provide unemployed and under-employed residents with services to enable them to obtain gainful employment, including assistance in accessing job training opportunities and direct job placement.” This grant will be paid to CAMBA, a non-profit based in Brooklyn, which will then fund the Ocean Village project.
Other Rockaway entities receiving money from the Sandy Block grants include RDRC (Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corp. which will receive $415,000; The Rockaway Manor Home on Beach 9th Street will receive $131,000; Seaview Manor on Beach 47th Street will receive $303,000.
St. John’s Residence for Boys will receive $1.02 million; the New Haven Manor for Adults will receive $21,000. A group called “Rebuilding Bayswater” which according to a Facebook page is associated with Young Israel of Wavecrest & Bayswater is in line to receive $790,000. The West Lawrence Care Center on Seagirt Boulevard will receive $246,000.
It’s possible there are other Rockaway recipients but the list provided by the Governor’s office is non-specific in some cases. There are, for example, many recipients listed as “home-based childcare provider.” Presumably, some of these providers could be Rockaway-based.
The list of recipients had some locals shaking their heads and wondering aloud how some were awarded money at all. The Park Inn and the Belle Harbor Manor were among those that drew the most scorn. “A million dollars? For those goddamn places? All they do is milk the system. You watch, the people who broke their backs fixing their houses won’t get a dime,” said a Rockaway Park homeowner. He said he didn’t want his name used because “someone at Build It Back might not like to hear that,” implying he did not want to risk not getting reimbursed for repairs he had made as a result of the storm.
Another resident was more hopeful. “People still need help. Some of these places will put the money to good use.”