Coney Island

City asks landlords to rent to Sandy victims

Program to reimburse building owners

January 11, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Amy Peterson, director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery, take HUD Secretary Julian Castro on a tour of a Sandy-impacted community. Photo by Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office
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Superstorm Sandy victims whose homes are being rebuilt are getting help from the de Blasio administration in finding temporary housing during the construction.

The Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery announced the procurement for new temporary housing service providers for applicants in the city’s Build it Back program who need to temporarily relocate during the reconstruction of their homes.

The office is asking landlords in Sandy-impacted neighborhoods to offer apartments for Build it Back applicants to rent on a temporary basis.

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Landlords will be reimbursed for up to $1,495 for a one-person household, $1,561.25 for a two-person household, $1,851.25 for a three-person household, $2,380 for a four-person household and $2,667 for a five-person household.

Landlords interested in helping can call Build it Back at 212-615-8329. 

“As we move forward towards the mayor’s goal of completing Build it Back by the end of the year, we are taking unprecedented steps to assist homeowners needing to relocate due to construction,” said Amy Peterson, director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery. 

The new initiative, supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is building off programs put in place in the past year as part of de Blasio’s broader Sandy recovery program, officials said.

In April of 2014, the city dedicated funding for a Temporary Relocation Assistance program to cover rental expenses for homeowners displaced during construction. To date, more than 200 claims have been made, officials said.

In June of 2015, Build it Back, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC and the New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS) launched the one-year, privately funded Sandy Temporary Rental Program to provide housing assistance for vulnerable and under-resourced homeowners.

Administered by NYDIS and funded by the American Red Cross, Robin Hood Foundation, the Building Trade Employers’ Association, the Salvation Army and the United Methodist Committee on Relief, the Sandy Temporary Rental Program operates in conjunction with Build it Back’s Temporary Relocation Assistance program.

“One of the most inspiring aspects of the Mayor’s Fund mission is our ability to work with city agencies to identify urgent challenges and a means by which private resources can help address them. We are proud to have done exactly that with the Sandy Temporary Rental Program, collaborating with our generous private partners to place Build it Back applicants in short-term housing and ensure construction can move forward on their homes,” said Darren Bloch, executive director of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. 

Under the program, the Office of Housing Recovery will provide access to:

  • A stock of available apartments ready for immediate occupancy.

  • Subsidies for rent and moving expenses.

  • Apartments conducive to homeowner needs, including accommodations for pets.

  • Emergency hotel placements for homeowners who must immediately vacate their homes.

 

“During the storm, we heard many stories about residents going above and beyond to help their neighbors. Now, we are asking our fellow New Yorkers to come through again. This time, however, they will get reimbursed for their good will. There should not be an added burden for families dealing with the aftermath of the storm,” said Councilmember Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-parts of Bensonhurst).   

Josh Lockwood, CEO of the American Red Cross Greater New York region, said Sandy-impacted families will need long-term assistance. “Families and individuals who have lost their homes and loved ones in storms as devastating as Sandy often face recovery related needs that stretch out for years,” he said.


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