Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder Urges Residents Still Recovering From Sandy to Register for New Grant/Loan Program

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sanAssemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D- Far Rockaway) is urging every resident and family affected by Superstorm Sandy to register for NYC Build it Back, a new City program to assist homeowners, landlords and tenants in the five boroughs. 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 local residents still recovering from the storm.

“After the storm, thousands of families across Southern Queens and Rockaway dipped into their savings or used credit cards to cover the costs of expenses to rebuild their homes and communities when insurance and FEMA checks weren’t enough,” said Assembly Member Phillip Goldfeder. “This new program will greatly benefit those who still have not completed their repairs or the many who paid out of pocket to immediately repair their sandy-damaged property.”

“The NYC Build it Back Program will streamline the often-complex grant and loans process for New Yorkers affected by Superstorm,” said United States Senator Charles E. Schumer. “I fought hard to make sure that the Sandy Relief Bill included the federal resources that New Yorkers need to get their lives back to normal after the storm and this program will make sure that those in-need receive the aid they are eligible for.”

New York City residents can begin registering for the program by calling 311 or visiting www.nyc.gov/BuildItBack . 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.

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 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.

“Although it has taken a long time, I am happy to see a program in place that will provide real assistance to those who need it,” said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder. “I urge every resident who is still in the process of rebuilding or those who used loans to complete theeir recovery to resigister as soon as possible and take advantage of this new program.”

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.

(YWN Desk – NYC)