Gerritsen Beach woman awaits home repairs after Sandy

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GERRITSEN BEACH -

A Gerritsen Beach woman who is an applicant of the city's Build it Back program says reconstruction of her home has not yet been completed.

Five years after Superstorm Sandy, Maureen Dewitt is temporarily living in an apartment in Sheepshead Bay while the work is being done.

Her new home is being built on the same lot as her previous one, with work being done by Build it Back, a construction program that is managed by the mayor's Office of Housing Recovery and other city agencies.

Although the ordeal has been long, Dewitt says she is thankful to Build it Back because she could not have gone through the entire process herself.

Others, however, say they are disappointed with the program and that it takes too long. A Build it Back spokesperson says that could be because it was not fully funded by the federal government until 2014, when Mayor Bill de Blasio and Sen. Charles Schumer pushed for extra money so more New Yorkers could be eligible for elevation and repairs. They secured $2.7 billion in federal funds for the city.

Dewitt's home is being raised 7 feet off the ground. There are flood openings around it so water can drain if a storm similar to Sandy were to hit.

According to statistics from the city's Housing Recovery Department, 99 percent of Brooklyn residents who applied for the Build it Back program have received a check or had a reconstruction effort started for them. And 91 percent of applications have been completed, meaning the applicant received the full amount of their relief money and a complete reconstruction of any damaged property.

The department also says that 96 percent of construction projects managed by the city have been completed, and 88 percent of all reconstruction efforts in Brooklyn are already finished.

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