Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 14, 2017


The December 2015 FEMA grant was the largest in history – $3 billion – to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy.

NYCHA’s Report accounts for all money previously spent on recovery and resilience and what is planned for the remaining funds.

As of End of Year 2017, NYCHA’s Office of Recovery and Resilience had awarded $1.85 billion in contracts, of which $730 million has been spent.

NEW YORK – Today, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announced the 2017 End of Year Report on the $3 billion FEMA grant to build back public housing destroyed during Superstorm Sandy in October 2012. The devastation hit 33 developments, affecting 10 percent of NYCHA’s property and 60,000 residents.

NYCHA launched the Office of Recovery and Resilience (ORR) to oversee the grant; push design boundaries in building reinforcements, storm surge protection, and infrastructure upgrades; and provide NYCHA residents with resilient and safe homes, protected from future storms and climate change. Since then, NYCHA ORR has worked diligently to provide an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability for this one-time commitment from the federal government.

“Our Sandy recovery work shows that NYCHA can be a leader in rebuilding stronger, more resilient cities,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “This unprecedented public investment will provide the almost 60,000 NYCHA residents who were affected by Superstorm Sandy with safe, stable homes in the face of future storms and the undeniable consequences of climate change. As NYCHA builds back its communities, we will continue striving to serve our residents with the safe and connected homes that they deserve while ensuring our developments are protected for generations to come.”

As of End of Year 2017, NYCHA’s Office of Recovery and Resilience had awarded $1.85 billion in contracts, of which $730 million has been spent. 2018 should include over $820 million in spending alone, with another nearly $850 million planned for 2019. All work is expected to be completed by 2021.

“The Sandy Project could be considered the most compelling, forward-thinking recovery project in the country and, perhaps, worldwide. Every single repair we are making is being done in a thoughtful and deliberate manner to ensure the safety and protection of our residents in the event of another natural disaster of such magnitude striking our city,” said NYCHA Vice President of Recovery and Resilience Joy Sinderbrand. “We are not only setting a standard on the way we are rebuilding and retrofitting those buildings damaged by Superstorm Sandy but in our utmost commitment to transparency and accountability.”

NYCHA’s accountability and transparency efforts have also included an important community engagement component. NYCHA ORR launched a Community Outreach Team, a network of residents in the affected areas that continues to provide regular updates to their fellow impacted residents.

“NYCHA has been excellent. Especially with transparency, communication, and ensuring work is done safely. They’ve been on top of everything,” said Bernadette McNear, Tenant Association President at Ralph J Rangel Houses. “They’ve even attended community meetings and haven’t shied away from any questions.”

“From day one, I have been included in discussions regarding plans for Haber Houses’ recovery process from Hurricane Sandy. The meetings that were conducted by NYCHA were clear, and the contractors very receptive to my questions and concerns for the safety of our residents,” said Linda Harrison, Tenant Association President at Haber Houses. “It is very comforting to see the bustle of activity coming from NYCHA contractors and FEMA. It is a wonderful time to be in leadership to oversee and be involved in the restoration of our home at Haber.”

Further, NYCHA has vastly demonstrated its commitment to Section 3 hiring. To date, the program has created 750 new jobs, 450 of which are for low-income New Yorkers. NYCHA residents also account for 250 of these new jobs.

“The Building Trades are proudly helping New Yorkers displaced by Hurricane Sandy rebuild their homes and restore normalcy to their lives,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. “With NYCHA’s support and through programs such as The Edward J. Malloy Initiative for Construction Skills, more than 1,900 New Yorkers have been given access to quality middle-class jobs that pay good wages with benefits. We take pride in working alongside the City with the shared goal of training and utilizing a skilled labor workforce from diverse backgrounds to restore these impacted communities.”

The End of Year report was released at NYCHA’s Astoria Houses in Queens while a new rooftop, full back-up power generator was lifted onto one of the development’s buildings. These rooftop generators are one example of the resiliency measures being installed under the grant.

“I am thrilled to see such a large investment in resilient technology come to Astoria Houses,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12). “I’m proud to have helped secure $74 million in federal funding to help Astoria Houses recover from the damage done by Hurricane Sandy. The eight rooftop generators are part of that commitment, and they will provide full power to buildings in the event of an outage. I applaud Mayor de Blasio, NYCHA, and FEMA for their efforts to improve the quality of life for residents by investing in infrastructure which will strengthen public housing and protect it against future impacts of climate change.”

“Congratulations to Astoria Houses on these wonderful improvements,” said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan. “Additional work needs to be done, but these resiliency improvements, along with the rooftop generators, are a step in the right direction and will go a long way to protect our residents during future storms and hurricanes.”

For full report, click here.


About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
NYCHA’s 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. More than 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 326 public housing developments around the five boroughs, and another 235,000 receive subsidized rental assistance in private homes through the NYCHA-administered Section 8 Leased Housing Program. For more information, visit and for regular updates on NYCHA news and services, connect with us via and