HUD secretary to lead long-term Sandy recovery efforts

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan will be working closely with FEMA on the plan. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan will be working closely with FEMA on the plan. Carlos Osorio/AP file photo

President Obama has directed Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan to lead the federal government’s long-term recovery efforts in the areas hit by Hurricane Sandy.

After traveling to New York on Thursday to visit storm-struck areas, President Obama said Donovan will coordinate federal action for states that are looking to redesign and rebuild communities following the devastation caused by Sandy. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will continue to lead the federal government’s continuing disaster relief efforts in areas such eastern New Jersey and New York City.

“Secretary Donovan will be working closely with FEMA and other agencies under the National Disaster Recovery Framework, a construct developed in the first term of the Obama administration to improve long-term recovery,” the statement said.

The White House said Donovan’s leadership will help “streamline the process” as states begin reconstructing infrastructure and housing that was heavily damaged by the storm. They cited Donovan’s “deep roots” in the New York City government, where he previously worked in the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

FEMA released the National Disaster Recovery Framework September 2011 as a guide for federal agencies to better coordinate with state and local partners as they rebuild communities hit by natural disasters. In it, FEMA said the federal government is responsible for “supplementing” local responses, addressing “intragovernmental recovery coordination,” and encouraging sustainable development during the recovery process.

In New York on Thursday, the president met many local government leaders, including New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. 
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