Using Federal Aid, Program Helps New Yorkers with Homes Damaged by Hurricane Sandy Recover and Rebuild
Brad Gair, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations, today announced the deadline to register for NYC Build it Back has been extended to October 31, 2013. NYC Build it Back is a federally-funded, City program to assist homeowners, landlords and tenants in the five boroughs whose homes were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. As of Monday, September 30th, more than 22,000 New Yorkers have registered for NYC Build it Back, including 9,400 registrants from Queens, nearly 7,000 from Brooklyn and 5,000 from Staten Island. Over the last two weeks, the Mayor’s Office of Housing Operations partnered with local elected officials, community associations, non-profit organizations and volunteers to help more than 4,800 additional New Yorkers register for the program.
“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,” said Director Gair. “Registering online at www.nyc.gov or by calling 311 is easy and takes only a few minutes. I also want to thank all of the elected officials and organizations, who have joined us throughout this process, for their advocacy on behalf of New Yorkers impacted by this storm.”
NYC Build it Back is currently funded with approximately $648 million in Federal disaster recovery funds passed by Congress earlier this year, which included an initial $1.77 billion Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery allocation through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. NYC Build it Back was created to help New Yorkers still recovering from the storm return to permanent, sustainable housing through various options, including rebuilding and reimbursing for eligible out-of-pocket repair expenses.
After the initial registration, NYC Build it Back registrants meet with a Housing Recovery Specialist to help them complete the application process. Once eligibility is reviewed and confirmed, a visit will be scheduled to the registrant’s home to evaluate the damage and determine what repairs may need to be completed, including elevating homes when necessary. The registrant may then be presented with options that include:
• Repair: A NYC Build it Back professional contractor can help eligible participants whose homes require minor to moderate repairs. Repairs to homes that have been substantially damaged, as defined by the NYC Build Code, would include elevation to at least two feet higher than the most recent FEMA flood maps. Registrants also have the option of selecting their own contractor within Federal and program guidelines.
• Rebuild: If a home is substantially damaged and needs to be rebuilt, qualifying participants can choose a home model that is designed specifically for their community, uses the best available resiliency standards and is designed by a NYC Build it Back developer. Alternatively, registrants can choose their own architect and contractor to develop and build their homes within Federal and program guidelines.
• Reimbursement: The City can also help participants recover eligible out-of-pocket costs for minor repairs already made to their homes that satisfy all Department of Housing and Urban Development and other requirements.
• Acquisition: Some owners may want to voluntarily sell their homes and in some cases, the City will be able to work with communities to strategically redevelop these properties in a smarter, more resilient way. Housing Recovery Specialists will be able to explain these options.
NYC Build it Back complements the assistance already provided by FEMA, private insurance claims and other sources. Homeowners, landlords and cooperative and condominium owners with primary residences in the five boroughs are encouraged to apply to find out how they may be eligible for the program. Assistance will also be made available to qualifying low income and still displaced renters.
For more information or to register for the program, call 311 or www nyc.gov.
NYC Build it Back Registrations by Borough as of September 30th:
• Manhattan: 236
• Bronx: 193
• Brooklyn: 6,974
• Queens: 9,409
• Staten Island: 4,981
About the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations
The Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations is committed to planning and implementing innovative and effective solutions to the housing needs caused by Hurricane Sandy. To this end, the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Operations created and will administer NYC Build it Back, a program to assist residents in the five boroughs whose primary homes were damaged by the storm. Homeowners, landlords and tenants affected by Sandy who still have unmet housing needs are urged to register for NYC Build it Back by calling 311 and ask for NYC Build it Back or going to www.nyc.gov/builditback.