Many More To Go As Recovery Continues
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Operations Caswell F. Holloway and FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Byrne announced NYC Rapid Repairs has completed work on more than 10,000 residences in communities hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.
The milestone was reached last Thursday, Jan. 17. Under Rapid Repairs- the first program of its kind to address housing needs after a natural disaster-the city has deployed dozens of contractors and thousands of skilled construction workers to make emergency repairs on residential properties affected by Hurricane Sandy.
These emergency repairs are free of charge, allowing residents to return to their homes. Emergency repairs include the restoration of heat, power and hot water, and other limited repairs to protect a home from further significant damage.
“So far, the groundbreaking Rapid Repairs program has helped more than 10,000 families take a major step down the road to recovery from one of the worst natural disasters in this city’s history-and it is on track to help thousands more,” Bloomberg said. “It is another indication that this Administration is committed to continue to help residents rebuild their homes and their lives after Sandy.”
Typically after a disaster of Sandy’s magnitude, families are forced to re-locate for extended periods of time to shelters and other forms of temporary housing that ultimately delays the real recovery that can only begin in earnest when families are back in their homes. Founded on the premise that the best temporary shelter is permanent shelter, Rapid Repairs is restoring the basic services-electricity, heat and hot water-that families need to return home.
The assistance provided through Rapid Repairs does not impact the assistance that families are eligible to receive through FEMA’s Individual Assistance program. All work is supervised by the city and performed up to the relevant safety and building codes-which means homeowners can be confident that they are getting high quality work without having to worry about scheduling contractors and the other potential challenges that these basic home repairs can pose.
As of Sunday, Jan. 20, 6,072 buildings have been completed; 10,492 residential units have been completed; work has begun in 7,878 buildings, and 4,303 buildings are remaining. Rapid Repairs has also provided significant construction opportunity for the city’s Minority and Women Business enterprises.
Rapid Repairs employs nine prime contractors and 140 subcontractors, including 31 Minority and Women Business enterprises. Those Minority and Women Business enterprises have been awarded $12 million in contracts so far.
Rapid Repairs is the city’s implementation of FEMA’s Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) program, created to address the unique housing challenges created by Hurricane Sandy. STEP funds emergency residential essential and necessary repairs such as restoration of temporary electricity, heat and hot water so that survivors can remain in their homes while permanent repair work continues.