Nearing its projected date of completion, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Build it Back Program—an initiative set on rebuilding homes badly devastated by Hurricane Sandy throughout the city — is still working on putting New Yorkers back in their homes.
While construction on an estimated 1,496 homes citywide has been completed, roughly 1,000 are still under construction. In Brooklyn, the program aimed to build back 815 homes, 503 of which have been completed.
Local leaders are now calling on Brooklyn landlords to help accelerate the process, so that the more than 300 still-under-construction homes in the borough can welcome their families home before the end of the year.
“We are One Brooklyn, and we look out for our neighbors in need,” said Borough President Eric Adams. “For victimized homeowners still looking to recover from the wrath of Superstorm Sandy, it is critical that we find landlords willing to open their apartments — and their hearts — for this greater rebuilding effort.”
This need for relocation housing comes on the heels of Build it Back being in negotiations with a new tTemporary housing service provider, which will offer relocation resources to residents of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.
The program is also partnering with the borough president’s Office of Faith-Based and Clergy Initiatives in an effort to appeal to congregations throughout the borough. Specialized outreach through the partnership will visit houses of worship in affected communities, including Bergen Beach, Brighton Beach, Canarsie, Coney Island, Flatlands, Georgetown, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park, Mill Basin, Red Hook, Sea Gate and Sheepshead Bay.
Councilmember Mark Treyger, chair of the Committee on Recovery and Resiliency, saw first-hand the devastation many endured after the storm as part of his district, Coney Island, saw some of the worst post-Sandy damages in the borough.
“Many New Yorkers displayed a true compassion and generosity during and after Superstorm Sandy in doing their part to help their neighbors,” said Treyger. “Now, we are appealing to New Yorkers again as we make a final push to finish rebuilding homes damaged by Sandy’s devastation. It is imperative that we find housing opportunities for storm victims still in need of temporary relocation.”
“The mayor set the target of completing the program by the end of the year and we are moving forward to make that happen,” said Amy Peterson, director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery. “In the past few months we‘ve closed out our case management process, put all homeowners in design, and started many in construction – including 815 construction starts and 503 construction completions in Brooklyn. To bring the program to the finish line, we are taking a multi-pronged approach to providing temporary housing for homeowners. We appealed to Brooklyn landlords to step up and help their neighbors.”
Brooklyn landlords interested in helping can call Build it Back at 212-615-8329. All landlords will be reimbursed based on the corresponding chart provided by Build it Back. For more information, visit nyc.gov/html/recovery/html/home/home.shtml