The FINANCIAL — Citi announced $500,000 in emergency funding to five community organizations to expand their relief efforts in neighborhoods across New York City, Long Island and New Jersey that are struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
As Citigroup Inc. reported, this latest funding is part of Citi’s support of relief and recovery efforts in the region’s hardest hit communities.
“Much of the recovery work is just beginning, and Citi is continuing to engage with our local nonprofit partners and government leaders to support this critical effort,” said Citi CEO Michael Corbat. “We are committed to doing our part to help the region recover and rebuild in the weeks and months ahead.”
Citi’s additional funding will immediately boost the capacity of community-based organizations to continue to provide frontline support ranging from emergency home repair loans to assistance filing important paperwork like insurance claims and disaster assistance application forms required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“Because of the enormous geographic scope of Hurricane Sandy, many communities have been affected in very different ways and they are now confronting a range of challenges based on the storm’s impact,” said Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Microfinance and Community Development. “Frontline community-based organizations are critical to the social and economic health of many of these severely affected neighborhoods. Our support for these organizations, many of which have been working in these communities for decades, will help ensure the right resources and assistance are quickly directed to those who are most in need.”
Organizations slated to receive funding include:
Long Island Housing Partnership is participating in numerous initiatives to help Long Islanders recover, including restoring electrical power and plumbing in low- to moderate-income (LMI) communities and assisting those displaced in relocating to temporary housing. As of this week, more than 260,000 homes were without power in Long Island and almost 39,000 families have applied for assistance from FEMA. LIHP has requested the authority to use Homeownership Emergency Assistance Program (HEMAP) funds for emergency loans to address these issues while homeowners await funds from FEMA or private insurance sources.
Margert Community Corporation in the Rockaways, Queens, has set up temporary headquarters to begin assisting the 1,000 area residents it serves with housing, support filing applications for FEMA assistance, and foreclosure prevention services. The Rockaway community was hit particularly hard by the storm. More than 19,000 homes remain without power and many homeowners suffered severe damage.
Ironbound Community Corporation in Newark, New Jersey, will devote its two Family Success Centers to offering a broad range of relief assistance including support for families filing applications for FEMA assistance and insurance claims to repair their homes. The Ironbound community of Newark experienced some of the heaviest flooding in the region.
Neighborhood Housing Services of Staten Island has established a special Staten Island Recovers Disaster Assistance Program to provide emergency loans to repair hurricane-damaged properties.
Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) will offer homeowners emergency loans in communities across New York City. The loans will help homeowners and tenants meet their immediate, short-term repair needs, enabling them to return home sooner.
"Our strategy is to provide the most vulnerable with relief and vital support with the myriad challenges they face," said Christophe Kui, Executive Director of AAFE. "Funding from Citi will go directly to assisting families in dealing with displacement, financial disruption, filing important paperwork and, in some cases, injured family members."
The support of Citi Community Development builds on Citi’s efforts during the past ten days to assist with the post-Sandy response throughout the region. In the immediate aftermath of the storm, the Citi Foundation supplemented its annual $500,000 grant to the American Red Cross with an emergency $1 million donation to help the organization with rapid relief efforts. Citi also made contributions to organizations focused on local recovery efforts, and Citi volunteers delivered food, water and other necessities to many of the area's most hard-hit communities. Citi has also donated $50,000 to the Staten Island-based Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation for relief efforts, and $50,000 to the Friends of Hudson River Park for repair efforts.