Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand, De Blasio Announce $116 Million In Federal Sandy Relief Funding For NYC’s Rapid Repairs Program

Feb 24, 2015

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced over $116 million in federal funding to reimburse New York City’s Rapid Repairs Program, which was established in the wake of Superstorm Sandy to make emergency repairs to damaged homes. Emergency work through this program included basic repairs to electrical systems, heat and hot water in homes, or the installation of temporary boilers. These repairs helped make homes livable until permanent repairs could be made. The funding is being provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to NYC’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which funded the Rapid Repairs Program.

“The Rapid Repairs Program helped many Sandy-impacted residents throughout New York City get back on their feet in the wake of the storm by allowing homeowners to stay in their homes while more permanent repairs took place,” said Senator Schumer. “It was an innovative and large-scale response to a level of unprecedented damage, and created a way to deal with home-damage disasters of this scale. This major federal compensation means that local taxpayers will not have to shoulder the entire burden of these costs, which is why we fought so hard to pass the Sandy Relief bill.”

“The Rapid Repairs Program provided critical assistance toward restoring the homes destroyed by Superstorm Sandy and used an innovative new model so that families weren’t displaced from their homes or left to pay upfront costs,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Now, this federal funding make sure New York City taxpayers aren’t stuck with the bill. I will keep fighting for federal investments that help our communities fully recover.”

“The Rapid Repairs Program was the first part of the City’s multifaceted response to Sandy,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We are grateful to Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand for their continued advocacy for Sandy-impacted New Yorkers. The addition of these federal funds will ensure that more money can be kept in the pockets of those New Yorkers and used for much needed relief.”  

Superstorm Sandy caused extensive coastal flooding throughout the five boroughs of New York City. High winds and flooding caused damage to single family homes and multi-family resident buildings. These residences sustained damage to electric service, meter, power panels, water heaters and home heating units. The City of New York determined it to be more prudent to allow occupants of these dwellings to return to, or remain at home to shelter-in-place thereby reducing the demand for alternative types of shelter. With the onset of inclement cold winter weather, New York City implemented a Rapid Repair Program.

New York City’s Rapid Repairs Program provided free help to property owners impacted by Superstorm Sandy. The program provided emergency repairs that allow residents to stay in their homes so they could complete more permanent repairs. Emergency repairs included permanent or temporary restoration of heat, power, hot water and emergency exterior repairs to lessen an immediate public health threat. FEMA’s STEP program consists of three distinct elements including residential electric meter repairs, shelter essential measures and rapid temporary exterior repairs.

This FEMA award provides $116,146,775 in federal funding to NYC DEP for the use of force account personnel, equipment and contractors to implement the Rapid Repairs Program. The funding is being provided via FEMA’s Public Assistance program.