“It’s irrational”: About half of the applicants who applied for FEMA funding for the Ida floods in Queens and Bronx got it, data shows


About half of the 27,000 households in the Bronx and Queens that applied for government aid after the remnants of Hurricane Ida struck the area have not received any money from New York congressional officials, according to new data from the agency.

As of Nov. 22, 5,087 Queens and 4,628 Bronx residents who applied for funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency had been turned down, about 35% of applicants, according to the offices of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman. Others withdrew their applications or were still waiting for FEMA to examine them.

In total, the agency had approved around 13,000 applications in the two districts. In the 10 affected New York boroughs, a FEMA spokesman said that of the 83,604 people who filed applications as of Monday, 35,112 had been approved for funding, or about 41%. The agency had allocated $ 167 million in funding for an average payout of $ 4,700 per household. The spokesman declined to say how many people have been denied across New York.

Bowman and Ocasio-Cortez asked FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell in a November 30 letter addressing other concerns about the FEMA relief funds, clarity as to why a person would have been denied funding, such as the one low dollar amount that many of their constituents received from the agency.

“[We’ve heard] countless stories from voters in our districts marveling at the limited relief. Many other voters report long processing times and automatic rejections, ”the letter said. “Despite filing applications in early September, some of our constituents have not yet received a decision, let alone funds to begin major repairs.”

Ida hit the New York Metro on September 2, dropping historic 3.15 inches of rain in a single hour, flooding streets and basements, killing 16 New Yorkers and 30 people in New Jersey. After the storm, President Joe Biden toured some flood-hit areas and promised help.

But among those denied federal aid was Jennifer Moreno, 47, who lives on the block Biden was visiting. Moreno shares a three-story house with her two children and her brother, who lived in the basement until Ida submerged his basement apartment in two-meter high water. The house technically belongs to the recently deceased mother of the siblings, so their application for FEMA funding has been denied even though they are now working on an appeal. The family has been without a heater since the storm and does not have the $ 12,000 needed to make the necessary restoration repairs.

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