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Mayor de Blasio, Senator Schumer Announce $108 Million In Federal Funds To Repair And Protect Sandy-Damaged Public Housing

September 5, 2014

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NYCHA Agreement with FEMA for Coney Island Houses Means Critical Improvements and Protections for Residents; Provides Model to Repair and Protect Other Sandy-Impacted NYCHA Properties

NEW YORK—New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced today $108 million in federal funding to repair and protect the Coney Island Houses public housing development that sustained severe damage during 2012’s Hurricane Sandy. The funding announced today also marks a tentative agreement between the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to apply this model to fund repairs and mitigation measures at least 15 other public housing developments impacted by Sandy.

The agreement of a total project cost of $108 million will allow NYCHA to repair and protect five buildings in the Coney Island Houses where Sandy’s storm surge brought damaging water and sand into the basements and first floors, crippling electrical and mechanical systems and leaving residents without power and heat for 22 days.

Today’s funds mean that NYCHA can move forward with making critical repairs and implementing key resiliency measures to better protect residents. Through FEMA’s program, which provides funding for in-kind repairs and mitigation, NYCHA will be able repair all of the damages caused by Sandy at Coney Island Houses, where all boilers, electrical and mechanical equipment in the five buildings were destroyed, and make it more resilient to future storms. New construction of an elevated boiler building, the installation of a flood barrier system, as well as stand-by generators will now help protect NYCHA residents in this flood zone from future extreme weather. 
 The funds will also support the installation of a security system including CCTV cameras and layered access entryways in the five Coney Island Houses buildings.
The Coney Island grant will serve as a model to obtain necessary funding for repairs and resiliency at all other severely damaged developments in NYCHA’s portfolio, including Red Hook East and West, Carey Gardens, Redfern Houses, Ocean Bay Apartments, and Baruch Houses, among others.

This agreement with FEMA follows other significant progress as a result of Mayor de Blasio’s overhaul of Sandy recovery programs. The new Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency is also implementing key resiliency measure across the city, as detailed in PlaNYC.

“NYCHA residents faced with weeks of cold and darkness in Sandy’s aftermath – and many are still feeling the impact. This huge investment of $108 million will allow us to repair and protect Coney Island Houses, including elevated boilers, standby generators, and flood protection, so that residents are better prepared next time they need to be. Plus, this will serve as a model to get all other impacted NYCHA developments the support they need,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Thank you to Senator Schumer for his continued leadership and partnership, and to FEMA for providing these vital funds.”

“Mayor de Blasio and I worked long and hard to secure these FEMA funds for the families in NYCHA who were hammered by Superstorm Sandy. This massive $108 million federal investment will help repair and protect Sandy-damaged NYCHA houses in Coney Island, and serve as a model to repair all other Sandy-impacted NYCHA buildings throughout the city so that many thousands of residents can be made whole,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “Key resiliency measures like elevating boiler rooms, installing flood barrier systems and providing stand-by generators will help make our NYCHA buildings stronger in the event of a future storm like Sandy, and I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for working with me to secure these funds.”

“Residents of public housing in Coney Island deserve not just long awaited repairs, but to know that their homes will be more resilient against future storms,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “We want to thank FEMA, Mayor de Blasio, Senator Schumer and the many other local and national leaders, including City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Member Ritchie Torres and Council Member Mark Treyger, who worked so very hard with the New Yorkers pressing needs in mind.”

“Last year’s passage of the Super Storm Sandy Disaster Relief Appropriations Act laid the foundation for a full and complete recovery, which the Mayor in partnership with the congressional delegation must continuously work hard to bring to life. This is an important step in the right direction for public housing residents in Coney Island who have often been neglected over the last few decades. Moving forward, we cannot rest until everyone is back on their feet,” said Congressman Hakeem Jeffries.

“The $108 million in federal funding that our City has secured for Coney Island Houses will go further than a rebuild of brick and mortar; these funds will fundamentally rebuild the promise made to public housing residents of a safe, secure place to call home. This is a tremendous step forward for our borough’s resiliency efforts, as is the tentative agreement between NYCHA and FEMA to apply this model for funding that will help other Sandy-damaged developments in Brooklyn, such as Carey Gardens and Red Hook East and West. Thanks to an strengthening commitment to storm-preparedness and restoration of our key infrastructure, I believe that New York City is better equipped today to handle the challenges posed by Mother Nature and Father Time,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

“As a result of our collaborative efforts, we finally have both the resources and a comprehensive strategy in place to improve the Coney Island Houses that had been devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The securitization of federal funding will enable our communities to rebuild safer, smarter, and structurally resilient for any future storm. I applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio’s leadership and my colleges in the City Council for their commitment to Coney Island,” said State Senator Diane Savino.

The Council served as a key partner in highlighting the needs for these vital funds.

“Less than eight months after an unprecedented hearing on the temporary boilers installed post-Sandy, NYCHA now has the resources to install permanent and more durable equipment. These funds will go a long way toward making some of our most vulnerable public housing developments safer and more resilient.  I want to thank Mayor de Blasio, Senator Schumer, Chair Olatoye, Speaker Mark-Viverito and Councilmember Treyger for their efforts to secure the $108 million dollars in federal support,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres.

“The deplorable conditions that NYCHA residents were forced to endure following Superstorm Sandy came to light as I knocked on residents’ doors after their boilers broke in the dead of winter. What I witnessed made it clear that government needed to act to rectify this unacceptable situation. I am grateful that my partners in government including Senator Schumer and Mayor de Blasio made securing this funding a top priority. My thanks also to Speaker Mark-Viverito and Council Member Torres for their partnership in holding the historic hearing in Coney Island and to all the residents who mobilized and showed the power of people coming together. This funding is a significant down payment that will greatly improve the quality of life for thousands of residents around the city. We welcome this first step and look forward to continuing our partnership until progress is evident on the ground and impacted communities are made whole again,” said Council Member Mark Treyger.

"This additional funding is great news for families that have suffered deeply both during and after Hurricane Sandy. With so many Sandy impacted families living in public housing in New York City, the additional funding that the administration has secured is critical to improving the quality of life for NYCHA residents as well as making our housing more resilient for future storms. We look forward to working with federal and local government in assuring that this program is expanded beyond Coney Island to Sandy impacted NYCHA buildings throughout the City," said Rev. Dr. Arthur Davenport, First Church of God Far Rockaway.

The repair and mitigation work that can now move forward at Coney Island Houses as a result of this agreement includes:

  • A new elevated boiler building to house three boilers and to be built to an elevation above the recent FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) to reduce future flood risk
  • Removal and replacement of building heating plant equipment, including boilers, pumps, tanks and traps throughout the submerged portions of the buildings
  • Removal and replacement of Sandy damaged compactors and lifts
  • Installation of five standby generators to protect quality of life and in any future storm power outages
  • Removal and replacement of all existing electrical equipment at lower levels of the buildings
  • Removal and replacement of all conduit and associated wiring below the flood level throughout the site, as well as the replacement of associated lighting
  • Installation of CCTV/Layered access system
  • New electrical buildings will be built above FEMA FIRM to reduce flood risk and will house buildings’ main electrical components.
  • Removal and replacement of Sandy damaged doors, walls, floors and fixtures throughout the five buildings 1st floor apartments and common areas
  • Replacement of damaged roofing components
  • Installation of a flood barrier system for building lower levels
Site Work and Environmental
  • Removal and replacement of two play areas, fencing, and sidewalks and parking areas
  • Removal and disposal of any regulated or hazardous materials  

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