On December 19, 2014, the City released a proposed Amendment 8 to its Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Action Plan. Following the end of the required public comment period, the City requested expedited approval from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for certain additions to the City’s housing programs, which are the creation of an optional Temporary Relocation Program and the reallocation of $3 million for workforce development. These additions are now referred to as Amendment 8A and were approved by HUD on February 13, 2015. The remaining edits, including the additional allocations to the Build it Back program and description of the Rebuild by Design projects, are now referred to as Amendment 8B.
Updates in approved Amendment 8A:
- Creates a Build it Back Temporary Relocation Program. The program will provide financial assistance to homeowners who must move during Build it Back construction through a new optional Temporary Relocation Program. Relocation assistance will be made available to all eligible homeowners who must vacate their homes for at least 30 days during construction. Homeowners will be paid for their temporary housing costs based on rent receipts and within guidelines based on household size.
- $3 million to expand Build it Back’s workforce development initiatives, linked to the current City procurement for expanded design and construction capacity. The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery (HRO) have developed a partnership, Sandy Recovery Workforce1, to support the Build it Back program and other Sandy-related rebuilding and resiliency efforts in coordination with the Workforce1 system. Through this partnership, Sandy Recovery Workforce1 will connect qualified residents to job opportunities generated as a result of rebuilding and resiliency efforts. To expand this effort beyond the resources already provided by the City in the Rockaways and Staten Island, HRO and SBS will open one or more Sandy Recovery Workforce1 centers, the first of which is proposed to be located in Southern Brooklyn to serve low to moderate income residents of Sandy-impacted neighborhoods. The City will also offer training vouchers to Sandy-impacted residents for participation in job training programs, including pre-apprenticeships, linked to Sandy recovery work.
Updates in proposed Amendment 8B:
- Updates funding amounts for programs to reflect third allocation of CDBG-DR funds to New York City
- Revises key information contained within program descriptions and program start and ends dates to reflect updated information and timelines in all areas
- Updates need assessments and makes other non-substantial updates in all areas
- Identifies Planning and Administration funding for each program area, including Overall Grant Management
- Describes $639 million in new housing recovery funds, enabling the City to serve all applicants to Build it Back, regardless of priority levels – a key part of Mayor de Blasio’s Build it Back overhaul.
- Reallocates $200 million to Build it Back from other prior allocations: $96 million from Business programs, $44 million from Infrastructure and Other City Services, and $60 million from Resiliency
- Proposes an option for homeowners to receive a direct grant to complete moderate repair projects (projects not requiring elevation) instead of having Build it Back complete the construction work.
- Extends the Temporary Disaster Assistance Program (TDAP) rental assistance benefit from two years to four years. TDAP provides a temporary rental subsidy and housing referral assistance to eligible low-income renters who were affected by Sandy and who were displaced from their homes as a result of the storm.
Business & Coastal Resiliency
- The Action Plan Amendment reallocates funds from the inactive Neighborhood Game Changer program and the Business Resiliency Investment Program to more effective business-related programs and targeted key resiliency investments that will protect small businesses and commercial corridors and benefit entire neighborhoods, as well as to the Build it Back program (as previously announced) to ensure all homeowners will be served.
- The business and coastal resiliency programs include:
- $3 million for Business PREP (Preparedness and Resiliency Program), a business resiliency program that will provide support for small businesses to implement operational and physical resiliency measures. Assistance could include one-on-one site visits for resiliency assessments, the development of an online business resiliency and preparedness tool to help businesses plan for improved resiliency, and educational resources such as targeted workshops featuring technical experts. Business PREP will be open to all small businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy, and components of the program will be available to businesses citywide. The program is expected to assist up to 500 small businesses across the city.
- $15 million for targeted infrastructure and resiliency improvements in key commercial corridors throughout the Rockaways, such as Beach 108th Street, Mott Avenue, and surrounding business districts. These funds are complemented by $8.2 million from the State’s NY Rising program. Businesses in the Rockaways continue to struggle from a decline in economic activity, in part due to surrounding vacant storefronts and damaged streetscapes. These funds will cover streetscape and stormwater management upgrades and the creation of new open space to renew the viability and resiliency of the commercial thoroughfares, benefiting over 200 businesses and 2,000 jobs.
- $12 million for the restoration of the Sawmill Creek marsh on Staten Island, to restore approximately 68 acres of severely degraded City-owned wetlands and uplands in northwestern Staten Island in an area heavily inundated during Hurricane Sandy. Reestablishing the previously degraded wetland ecosystem will serve to protect against the harmful impacts of storm-related flooding for hundreds of businesses adjacent to the march and launches New York City’s first mitigation bank to catalyze further wetland restoration.
- $15 million to enhance ongoing green infrastructure work along commercial corridors in Coney Island, including the installation of right-of-way bioswales. The new infrastructure, generally between West 8th and West 37th Streets – between Coney Island Creek and the beach – will improve stormwater retention, filter and maintain water quality in local waterways, and enhance business and retail areas through beautification. The project will protect over 830 local businesses and 9,000 jobs, complementing the City’s ongoing programs to make Coney Island more economically resilient and increasingly attractive to businesses and consumers.
- $25 million to support resiliency measures in Hunts Point, which will protect the region’s primary food supply hub (which handles approximately half of the produce, meat, and fish consumed by New Yorkers). This will match the $20 million allocated to Hunts Point resiliency this summer through HUD’s Rebuild by Design program, detailed below. The investment will benefit over 200 business and 6,500 jobs in the distribution center, while also providing citywide benefits as damage from severe weather events to the Hunts Point food distribution center could potentially disrupt food supply chains across the city.
- $28 million for critical resiliency measures at Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH). As the Mayor announced in September, the City’s allocation will move forward SIUH’s comprehensive resiliency program, including the elevation of critical building power and mechanical systems, the installation of sanitary holding tanks and backflow prevention, and the installation of major wind resiliency and roofing improvements. SIUH is Staten Island’s largest employer; the City’s investment comes in advance of expected U.S. Army Corps of Engineers measures that will provide complementary protection to SIUH in the coming years.
- The Action Plan Amendment also accounts for $355 million in new coastal resiliency funding via the HUD Rebuild by Design program, including:
- $335 million for a massive flood protection system of the East Side of Manhattan. The project will create a multi-layered protective system that will also provide social and environmental benefits to the community.
- $20 million for Hunts Point to evaluate integrated coastal protection, workforce development, energy, and stormwater resiliency, and an emergency maritime supply chain in support of food supply protection. The funding will be used for continued study, analysis, and planning, as well as for design, engineering, and construction of the first phase pilot project. These funds are matched by the $25 million detailed above.
- The City is also providing an additional $3 million to be used to advance resiliency planning and feasibility studies for other areas of Lower Manhattan, and $2 million for direct design and planning to study integrated flood protection systems in East Harlem and on Staten Island’s North Shore.
Infrastructure and Other City Services
- Revises existing projects and identifies major infrastructure projects (defined as Covered Projects) and further details the City’s response to impacts to public infrastructure
Review Action Plan Amendment 8:
Read the proposed amendment for public comment of CDBG-DR Action Plan Amendments 8A and 8B (in PDF) (in Español, 中国, and русский)
Please note that the Spanish, Chinese, and Russian translations incorporate all of the edits made to the Action Plan in Amendment 8. A summary of these changes is available in the introduction of each translated document.
The comment period for proposed Action Plan Amendment 8 ended on January 19, 2015 at 11:59PM (EST).
All comments shall be reviewed and a City response will be incorporated into the City’s Responses to Public Comments document. A summary of the comments and the City’s responses will be submitted to HUD along with the amendment. The revised Action Plan including the public comments and responses will be posted on the City’s CDBG-DR website on the Approved Action Plan page when it is approved by HUD.