Lower Manhattan Elected Officials Send Letter to HUD Secretary Castro Over Awarded National Disaster Resiliency Competition Grant Following Superstorm Sandy

Feb 26, 2016 Issues: Housing, New York and Our Neighborhoods

New York, NY -- Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), New York State Senator Daniel Squadron, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and New York City Councilmember Margaret Chin sent a letter to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro seeking clarification on the terms of the National Disaster Resiliency Competition (NDRC) grant award made to New York City. The letter urges that the NRDC award grant include the area south of Montgomery Street and around Battery Park City in its application to areas affected most by Superstorm Sandy.

Below is the full letter signed by the elected officials representing Lower Manhattan to HUD Secretary Julian Castro:

February 25, 2016

Secretary Julian Castro
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street S.W.
Washington, DC 20410-7000

Dear Secretary Castro:

We write to you as the elected officials representing Lower Manhattan, which was badly damaged during Superstorm Sandy, and continues to be vulnerable to coastal flooding and rising sea levels.  We are writing to ask for clarification on the terms of the grant award made to New York City under the National Disaster Resiliency Competition (NDRC) and to urge you to apply the grant award as broadly as possible in Lower Manhattan, including the area south of Montgomery Street and around Battery Park City.

We were all supportive of New York City’s NDRC application for funding for its Lower Manhattan Protect and Connect proposal, which contained vital next steps in creating a comprehensive resiliency plan for New York City and was built upon earlier work and planning carried out by New York City with the support of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

We are pleased that New York City was chosen for a grant award of $176,000,000 in order to protect Lower Manhattan from ongoing—and likely increasing—risks as climate change continues. However, HUD’s letter is not entirely clear on scope of the grant award, and we are concerned that no funding will be provided for the area between Two Bridges and the Manhattan Tip for resiliency protection.

It is critical that the largest area of Lower Manhattan possible be able to take advantage of these federal funds for resiliency and flood protection efforts.  Lower Manhattan is one of the fastest growing residential neighborhoods in New York, as well as one of the country’s largest central business districts and home to major regional transportation and infrastructure resources.  As the area continues to face risks from coastal flooding and climate change, we must provide significant flooding protection and increase long-term resiliency for the area.  

We urge you to work with New York City, our offices and the affected community to reach a resolution on this matter. Thank you for your assistance. We look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

   
Jerrold Nadler                         Daniel Squadron             
Member of Congress               New York State Senator    

    
                
Gale Brewer                                    Margaret Chin
Manhattan Borough President        New York City Councilmember

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