Using Federal Aid, NYC Build it Back Addresses Housing Needs for Affected Residents
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Operations Cas Holloway, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations Brad Gair and Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua today announced NYC Build it Back, a new City program to assist homeowners, landlords and tenants in the five boroughs whose homes were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. In the days following the storm, the City led one of the fastest disaster recovery efforts ever seen, helping more than 20,000 families return to their homes through the Rapid Repairs program, and that work continues today. As the City shifts its focus to long-term rebuilding, NYC Build it Back is designed to make the newly available Federal aid simple and understandable, and the program will provide assistance – including grants and loans – to New Yorkers still recovering from the storm. New York City residents can begin registering for the program by calling 311 or visiting www.nyc.gov. NYC Build it Back provides multiple pathways to help affected residents return to more sustainable housing and recover out-of-pocket costs resulting from the storm. Beginning next month, registrants will be contacted by a Housing Recovery Specialist who will help them review their options and guide them through each step of the process. The Mayor made the announcement in the Blue Room at City Hall, where he was joined by Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Congressman Michael Grimm and Council Members Vincent Ignizio, Deborah Rose, James Oddo, Domenic Recchia, Jr. and Donovan Richards.
“Hurricane Sandy was the worst storm ever to hit New York City – and today, we are launching a new program to continue the road to recovery,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Through NYC Build it Back, we are making our Federal aid package simple and understandable, and tailoring assistance to the specific needs of the families and businesses most impacted by Sandy. Whether it’s personal assistance in the rebuilding process or reimbursements for completed repairs, this program will provide a new infusion of support to help families, neighborhoods and businesses come back stronger and more resilient than ever before.”
NYC Build it Back provides four pathways to help New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy return to sustainable homes:
• Repair: A NYC Build it Back professional contractor can help eligible participants whose homes require minor to moderate repairs. 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 is more than a set of flexible housing solutions for residents whose homes were impacted by Hurricane Sandy – it is a commitment to every individual who applies that we will work with you until you have a safe, sustainable housing solution,” said Brad Gair, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations.
“Our job is to ensure that homeowners who want to assistance in rebuilding their homes can get it, and that we work with the community to make the process sensible and responsive to the needs of the individual and the neighborhood,” said Commissioner Wambua. “We are pleased to offer the benefit of our experience, as well as the financial assistance that is necessary to reknit the fabric of the coastal areas that have been so badly hurt. We will do this with an eye toward the future of our City and with the goal of building safe, sustainable, storm resistant homes.”
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. Professionals will assess the damage of homes in the program to determine the costs of repairs or rebuilding, including elevating homes when necessary. Assistance will also be made available to qualifying renters who participate in the program.
“More than seven months later, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and his administration continue to work each and every day to guarantee that New York City recovers fully from Sandy,” said State Senator Martin Golden. “The program announced today will surely be of great assistance to the residents of my district, specifically in the neighborhoods of Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach and Sheepshead Bay. I join the Mayor in his commitment to all those impacted, so to continue to assist them every step of the way, to get their lives and homes back to normal.”
NYC Build it Back is 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. In order to address the highest need families first, the City will prioritize the limited initial funding based on the level of damage and financial need, using national objectives set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
For more information or to register for the program, call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov.