NEW YORK CITY — The deadline to register for Build It Back, the city's program to rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy, has been extended to Oct. 31 — after an influx of new interest during the past two weeks, it was announced Monday.
Brad Gair, the director of the Mayor's Office of Housing Recovery Operations, announced the extension on Monday, which was the original deadline for the program.
Build it Back is a federally-funded program to assist homeowners, landlords and tenants across the city whose homes and buildings were damaged by last year's storm.
More than 22,000 people had registered for the program by Monday, the city announced, with 9,400 living in Queens, the most in any borough.
"With an influx of new registrants in the past two weeks, we are extending the deadline so that more New Yorkers have the opportunity to sign up for NYC Build it Back,” Gair said.
The program started larger outreach efforts around the 13th, a spokesman for the program said.
In that time there were 1,773 new registrants in Brooklyn, 1,842 in Queens and 911 on Staten Island. A few hundred more registered in the Bronx and Manhattan, the spokesman said.
The program is funded with $648 million in federal funds from the Hurricane Sandy relief bill.
Despite the extension, some organizations working in Hurricane Sandy recovery don't feel a month is enough time to register everyone impacted by the storm.
"It's a step in the right direction but not nearly enough time," said Dan Morris, a spokesman for Alliance for a Just Rebuilding, a coalitionf of groups working in Sandy relief.
They published a letter on Monday urging Mayor Michael Bloomberg to extend the deadline an entire year, to Sept. 30, 2014.
The group said they'd like to continue outreach in communities still struggling to recover.
"For many New Yorkers, Build It Back may be their last—and best— opportunity for real assistance; they need more time and support to be able to take advantage of the program," they said.