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September 11: Overview of Federal Disaster Assistance to the New York City Area

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2003
111 pages
This document discusses how much and what type of Federal assistance was provided to the New York City area after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
An estimated $20 billion of Federal assistance has been committed to the New York City area through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Liberty Zone tax benefits. While plans for use of $1.16 billion in HUD funds have not been finalized, $18.47 billion has been committed for four purposes. First, initial response efforts, which includes search and rescue operations, debris removal, emergency transportation, and utility system repairs, totaled $2.55 billion. The largest single amount has been set aside for the establishment of an insurance company to cover claims resulting from debris removal operations. Second, compensation for disaster-related costs and losses, which includes aid to individuals for housing costs, loans to businesses to cover economic losses, and funding to the city and State for disaster-related costs, totaled about $4.81 billion. Third, infrastructure restoration and improvement, which includes restoration and enhancement of the lower Manhattan transportation system and permanent utility repair and improvement , totaled $5.57 billion. And finally, economic revitalization, which includes the Liberty Zone tax benefits and business attraction and retention programs, is estimated to total $5.54 billion. The designation of $20 billion to assist the New York City areas was the first time in which the amount of Federal disaster assistance to be provided was set early in the recovery effort. Normally, the level of assistance is determined as needs are assessed against established eligibility criteria. FEMA changed its traditional approach to administering disaster funds by expanding eligibility guidelines, initiating an early close-out process, and reimbursing New York City and State for nontraditional costs. The designation of a specific level of assistance prompted congressional authorization of numerous forms of nontraditional assistance to be provided. 14 tables, 26 figures, 55 footnotes, 6 appendices