Bad & Good Storm Sandy Aid Info

I'm working on a larger story about this, but I wanted to put it out there that the city is holding a workshop on Sept. 9 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at City Hall to disseminate information about the various funds available for Sandy victims.

It'll be Mayor Ben Blake, state Housing Commissioner Evonne Klein, and DOH program manager Hermia Delaire. They will apparently discuss a variety of aid programs for Sandy victims, especially the (they couldn't come up with a shorter name) "Department of Housing's owner-occupied Rehabilitation and Rebuilding Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program."

But, the larger story is about what Milford residents describe as a nightmare pit of bureaucracy is applying for and getting aid. They tell me that they don't understand how to apply for aid, they never know how much aid they will get, and that when they do get around to applying, the process is byzantine, confusing, and like an endoscopy.

As one Milford resident told me: "I've never seen such bureaucracy and stupidity in my life."

An example of how bad the information is: on Friday, Gov. Dannel Malloy's office sent out a press release with the screaming headline "HOMEOWNERS CAN APPLY ONLINE FOR STORM SANDY RELIEF FUNDS."

It's absolutely untrue that residents can apply online for Sandy relief.
The state Sandy relief website. You can download, but not apply. 

You an download an application and print it out, but you definitely can't apply online like you can for, say, a credit card. I asked the governor's office about it, and they told me "That is the wrong wording." \

And on Tuesday Mayor Ben Blake's office doubled-down on that bad information by repeating it in a press release advertising the Sept. 9 forum.

Want to share your experience - good or bad - with trying to get Sandy aid? Contact me (Neal McNamara) at 203-789-5695 or at nmcnamara@nhregister.com.

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