Kathryn Mallon, the head of the city’s problem-plagued Hurricane Sandy recovery program, Build it Back, abruptly resigned last week as residents’ frustration with the program she ran is reaching a peak.
Just this month, Mallon met with Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) and civic leaders in his office to discuss issues with Build it Back, including changing the way people enrolled in the program are prioritized. Build it Back was also criticized for being slow to release funds.
For thousands of people in areas ravaged by Sandy on Oct. 29, 2012, including Howard Beach, Hamilton Beach and Broad Channel, Build it Back has not been helpful at all, instead becoming a source of frustration as the program is riddled with issues from missed appointments to lost paperwork to complaints about little to no communication about documentation needed to receive money under the program, and ill-informed staff.
Less than 2 percent of the $1.5 billion allocated to the program has been released, according to city records, and not one house has been fixed by the program since it was created last June.