Press Release



$3 billion in FEMA funds being put to work; shovels in the ground at 4 multi-million dollar projects; over 120 residents hired; and more to come

Shovel in Ground
Local Union Jobs for Residents

Watch construction underway at Sandy-impacted developments in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn here. (Password: sandy)

NEW YORK–– The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is marking the fourth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy with a construction and hiring boom. At this time last year, major construction was underway at one development––the Lower East Side Rehab Group 5. In the past year, the Authority has broken ground on 3 additional major recovery projects totaling nearly $200 million. As these projects are ramping up major construction, work at Lower East Side Rehab V is winding down as the recovery and resiliency efforts are nearing completion.

“On the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, we are proud to announce NYCHA has made major progress in the recovery effort—moving large-scale, multi-million dollar projects forward with shovels in the ground and connecting residents to economic opportunities in the process,” said Shola Olatoye, NYCHA Chair and CEO. “As NYCHA builds back stronger and more resilient than ever before, we are committed seeing the recovery effort through, improving residents quality of life and ensuring our developments are protected for this generation and the next. Our residents have waited long enough."

Sandy Recovery at NYCHA by the Numbers
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As NYCHA continues to build back stronger and more resilient than ever before from Hurricane Sandy, here’s a look at NYCHA’s recovery milestones by the numbers:
  • 219 NYCHA buildings damaged
  • $3 billion FEMA funds awarded to NYCHA
  • $423 million spent to date
  • 127 NYCHA residents hired for recovery work to date
  • 4 major projects to repair 18 buildings housing over 3100 residents have started at Oceanside, Coney Island Sites 4/5, Astoria, and Lower East Side Rehab V.
  • 232 first floor Sandy-damaged apartments completely renovated
  • 23 developments undergoing initial repair work or recovery work
  • 110,000 flyers on Sandy meetings, events and construction updates delivered to residents
  • From April 2014 through October 2016, NYCHA organized, attended, or participated in more than 1,385 meetings related to Sandy recovery.
  • $201 million in major construction underway in 2016; $5.2 million in progress in 2015

Recovery to Resiliency

This summer, the Authority started construction work on 3 major Sandy recovery projects including an $88 million project at Astoria Houses, a $41 million project at Coney Island Sites 4 and 5, and a $67 million project at the Ocean Bay-Oceanside development. The resiliency effort at all three sites moved forward under last year’s historic $3 billion Sandy recovery assistance provided by FEMA – the largest such grant in FEMA history, secured after three years of negotiations and strong support from New York’s Congressional Delegation and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The major work underway includes comprehensive upgrades to areas and buildings damaged by the storm, including roof replacements, stand-by generators for back-up power, new electrical systems and flood-protected equipment annexes, resiliency measures to prevent flooding, as well as site-wide improvements, including upgraded playgrounds and recreational areas, and comprehensive exterior safety lighting across the developments.

Putting Funds to Work

The $3 billion in FEMA funds secured last year flows through the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES), which reviews and approves disbursements to NYCHA.

Currently, major constructions contracts are in the procurement process for work at Redfern Houses, Gowanus Houses, Coney Island Houses, Coney Island Site 1B, Smith Houses, Carleton Manor, East River, Two Bridges, and Rangel Houses.

Additionally, more than $423 million in other federal disaster assistance and insurance payments have funded preconstruction work at 23 developments. Initial repair and preparatory work includes boiler demolition and restoration, asbestos abatement, replacement of electrical wiring, and renovations of more than 300 first-floor apartments damaged by the storm. So far, 232 apartments at 10 developments have been fully renovated and restored.

All recovery work underway and planned at each Sandy-impacted development can be viewed and tracked through NYCHA’s Interactive Sandy Transparency Map. Additional information can also be found on NYCHA’s Sandy Recovery webpage. NYCHA’s recovery efforts are complemented by extensive coastal protection and other resiliency measures in place and underway around the city – key elements of Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC $20 billion multi-layered resiliency program.

Recovery = Jobs

As NYCHA continues to break ground on major recovery projects across New York City, the Authority is working to strengthen pathways to careers and economic opportunity for residents. Today, more than 220 low-income New Yorkers have been employed through Section 3 on Sandy-related contracts at NYCHA developments to-date, more than half are NYCHA residents. Section 3 is a federal mandate that requires employment and other economic opportunities generated by federal assistance to public housing authorities be directed, whenever possible, to public housing residents and other low- and very-low-income individuals.

NYCHA also released a Request for Proposals (RFP) this summer for pre-apprenticeship training and placement program providers to connect NYCHA residents to promising careers in the construction industry. Providers will give residents access to job training and direct entry into skilled trade unions working on Sandy construction projects at NYCHA developments. The programs will be funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program.

Residents interested in connecting immediately to other training and employment opportunities can contact NYCHA’s Office of Resident Economic Empowerment & Sustainability (REES) at 718.289.8100 or visit



About New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA):
The New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. To that end, NYCHA administers a Conventional Public Housing Program as well as a citywide Section 8 Leased Housing Program in rental apartments, together serving more than 600,000 New Yorkers.

Learn more at and on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter, @NYCHA.