Mayor Bloomberg Announces First-of-its-kind Nyc Rapid Repairs Program Completes Work On More Than 20,000 Homes Damaged By Hurricane Sandy

March 22, 2013

City Releases Details on Plan for $1.77 Billion in Federal Aid for Hurricane Sandy Recovery

Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City Dedicates $10 Million in Private Donations to Assist Homeowners In Need of Minor, Non-Structural Repairs; Over $51 Million Committed to Recovery Efforts by Mayor's Fund


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Operations Cas Holloway, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations Brad Gair, Director of Rapid Repairs Kathryn Mallon and FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Byrne today announced NYC Rapid Repairs has completed work on more than 99 percent of homes, helping more than 20,000 families – and approximately 54,000 people – return to their homes in communities hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. NYC Rapid Repairs is a first-of-its-kind program to provide free repairs to thousands of homeowners left without heat, power and hot water following the storm. Under the NYC Rapid Repairs program, the City deployed dozens of contractors and thousands of skilled construction workers to make emergency repairs on residential properties affected by Hurricane Sandy. No other city has ever responded to a natural disaster by offering essential emergency repairs that allow homeowners to get back to living in their own homes. The innovative program is projected to finish all scheduled home repairs by next week and will continue to offer homeowners with guidance through NYC Rapid Repairs After-Care. Additionally, the Mayor today detailed the City’s plans for $1.77 billion in Federal aid to help residents and businesses as they continue to rebuild and recover from the storm. Further, the Mayor announced that the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is dedicating $10 million in private donations to assist one- and two-family homes in need of minor-to-moderate, non-structural repairs. The Mayor made the announcement at the American Legion Post in Broad Channel – which served as a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center and a NYC Rapid Repairs registration site following Hurricane Sandy – where he was joined by Congressman Gregory Meeks, Council Members Eric Ulrich and Donovan Richards and residents whose homes were repaired by the NYC Rapid Repairs program.

“In the four months since it launched, Rapid Repairs has restored essential services to more than 20,000 residences, allowing nearly 54,000 New Yorkers return to their homes where real recovery can begin,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “It’s a new model for disaster recovery that we proved can work, and I want to thank FEMA Director Craig Fugate, FEMA Coordinating Officer Mike Byrne and the entire team at FEMA who worked with us to make it happen.  We still have a lot of work ahead of us to help the families and businesses impacted by Sandy to make a full recovery, and the first round of Federal aid will go a long way toward achieving that goal.”

“Rapid Repairs was a success thanks to the dedication and talent of New York City’s skilled trades – thousands of electricians, plumbers and other workers who labored seven days a week to help their families, friends and neighbors get back to their homes,” said Deputy Mayor Holloway. “That effort, and the tireless work of Kathryn Mallon and the Rapid Repairs management team, have helped thousands of families begin to make a real recovery in record time.”

 “Rapid Repairs is an example of close coordination among local, state and federal partners in the recovery operation,” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Byrne. “The administration wants our programs to fit the needs of survivors, not make survivors fit our programs. Because of Rapid Repairs, many families were able to remain in their homes and neighborhoods while they recovered.”

“Rapid Repairs has helped New York City residents get a tremendous jump start on their long term recovery from Hurricane Sandy because we invested in permanent housing solutions,” said Gair, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations.

“I was honored to have been able to help thousands of families stay or return to their own homes more quickly after Hurricane Sandy,” said Rapid Repairs Director Mallon. “The Rapid Repairs program has given many people the hope they needed to continue rebuilding their lives and communities.”

NYC Rapid Repairs restored essential heat, power and hot water and served as a critical first step in helping New Yorkers rebuild their homes and their communities more quickly. At the peak of the program, NYC Rapid Repairs completed work on more than 200 homes per day with a peak labor force of more than 2,300 skilled tradespeople working in a single day under 10 prime contractors. With the program near completion, NYC Rapid Repairs After-Care was launched, with a customer service team dedicated to assisting individual homeowners and answering their questions.

“Sadly, we had to learn the hard way along the Gulf Coast how wasteful and ineffective trailers are as a one-size-fits-all solution,” said U.S. Senator for Louisiana Mary L. Landrieu, Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery. “The Rapid Repair program is a smarter and faster way to help families make their homes livable again. This is exactly why I included permanent authorization for this effort in the Sandy aid bill. FEMA should incorporate this type of tool into its permanent emergency response and recovery toolbox. I commend New York City for helping people rebuild faster, save taxpayers money and provide an excellent example to help survivors of future disasters.”

“The NYC Rapid Repairs Program has a critical role in doing the essential emergency repairs that has enable thousands of New York City families get back in their homes, get heating and power restored, and begin the process of rebuilding their lives and neighborhoods,” said Congressman Meeks. “I think it is important to commend City government along with FEMA for initiating this innovative program in the midst of enormous dislocation and difficulty. I am sure that much will be learned from the experience of this first-of-its-kind program of free government assistance that will enable the city to tackle future disasters.”

“On behalf of all my constituents who were assisted in getting their lives back in order following the ravages of Sandy, I deeply appreciate the efforts of the Mayor’s administration, the contractors and workers,” said State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.

“I support the Bloomberg Administration and NYC Rapid Repairs for helping storm victims fix their homes and return their lives to some semblance of normalcy,” said Senator Malcolm A. Smith, Co-Chairman of the Hurricane Sandy Sub-Committee in the New York State Senate. “After Superstorm Sandy, many residents were left without heat, hot water or a home safe enough to live in. NYC Rapid Repairs was a much needed life preserver for these victims, providing free help to thousands of New Yorkers. I am pleased to hear that all scheduled home repairs are expected to be finished by next week and I look forward to a continued partnership with the city as we move ahead.”

“It was a bold and innovative idea that returned people safely to their homes quicker than humanly possible,” said Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro. “In addition, it was a program that should be a showcase for the rest of the country for post-disaster recovery efforts.”

“We appreciate the work that was done,” said Council Member Lew Fidler. “Surely those who received the program benefited in their time of need. There is much more work that still needs to be done, but there would have been even more if not for this program.”

“As we begin looking forward to how to best apply federal aid to our still recovering neighborhoods, it’s only fitting that Rapid Repairs winds down after assisting over 54,000 New Yorkers and 99 percent of those enrolled in the program,” said Council Member Dominic Recchia. “For a program that was the first of its kind to be created and operated so quickly and on such a large scale, Rapid Repairs reflects the commitment the City has to working with New Yorkers to rebuild and recover in the wake of Sandy. I look forward to continuing to partner with the Mayor, and City, State, and Federal agencies, to use our resources to most effectively help those individuals and businesses still working hard to get back on their feet.”

“The milestone that Rapid Repairs reached today in servicing over 20,000 families is significant towards showing that our community is making major progress following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy," said Council Member Donovan Richards. “If it weren’t for Rapid Repairs homeowners in my district would not have heat, hot water, or even electricity today.  In order for the Rockaway Peninsula to continue to make a full recovery, it is crucial that more innovative programs, such as this are cultivated.  I look forward to continuing to work with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his administration to ensure that we rebuild the Rockaways bigger and better than ever.”

“Rapid Repairs was very helpful to my constituents and was key to their recovery following the storm,” said Council Member Ulrich. “The administration deserves a lot of credit for inventing this program and rolling it out with lightning speed. I don't know where we would be today without Rapid Repairs.”

NYC Rapid Repairs: Milestones

  • November 9, 2012
 Mayor Bloomberg announces the NYC Rapid Repairs Program.
  • November 13, 2012
 Homeowner registration begins via 311 and NYC.gov.
  • November 20, 2012
 Notice to proceed is issued to contractors; repair work begins the next day.
  • December 2012
 Rapid Repairs completes repairs in nearly 3,000 buildings, comprising 4,800 residential units.
  • January 2013
 Rapid Repairs completes repairs in over 9,100 buildings, comprising 15,000 residential units.
  • February 2013
 Rapid Repairs nears completion with repairs finished in over 11,500 buildings, comprising nearly 20,000 residential units.

NYC Rapid Repairs: Borough Breakdown

 Buildings RepairedResidential Units Repaired
Bronx3649
Brooklyn4,1487,418
Manhattan15148
Queens5,2769,707
Staten Island2,2982,938
Total11,77320,260

NYC Rapid Repairs: Buildings By Month

NYC Rapid Repairs: Additional Statistics

Average Daily # of Workers1,500 Workers
Average # Buildings Repaired Per Day103 Buildings
Average # Residential Units Repaired Per Day177 Residential Units

Community Development Block Grants Action Plan

Last month, the Mayor announced the City’s plan for the $1.77 billion allocated from the Federal government for Hurricane Sandy relief, including eight new programs for housing recovery ($720 million), business recovery ($325million) and infrastructure ($400 million). Today, the City released its proposal – Partial Action Plan A – with additional details, including eligibility and how the money will address long-term recovery. The funding is allocated through the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Relief program and administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Action Plan, which is available online at www.nyc.gov, demonstrates that the City’s total relief need exceeds the initial $1.77 billion allocation, and describes how the City will use the money to leverage other private and public funding opportunities for relief work. After a 14-day public comment period, the Action Plan will be submitted to Department of Housing and Urban Development for approval.

New Initiative to Help Homeowners

In addition to funding provided through the Community Development Block Grants, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is dedicating $10 million to assist one- and two-family homes in need of minor-to-moderate, non-structural repairs. A Nonprofit Repair and Rebuilding Consortium will select, fund and oversee a set of nonprofits to scale repair work and serve at least 600 homes. In partnership with the Mayor’s Fund, the American Red Cross and the Robin Hood Relief Fund will also provide support for the program. Candidates will include people currently sheltering in hotels through the City or FEMA whose residences require further repairs, as well as households that already received Rapid Repairs, but require other minor repairs. Additional program details will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, which has raised over $57 million to date from 20,400 donors, has committed over $51 million to more than 25 essential hurricane relief programs. After spending $4.6 million on emergency response projects during the two months following the storm, including hot meals and relief supplies, the Mayor’s Fund is now supporting ongoing recovery projects. In addition to the $10 million commitment to rebuilding efforts announced today, the Mayor’s Fund is supporting a Nonprofit Recovery Loan and Grant program with $10 million, two small business grant programs totaling $6.25 million, mold treatment programs and trainings totaling $5.8 million, more than $2 million in support for public school students, $1.8 million in grants to emergency food providers, $1 million for homeowner counseling and legal assistance as well as additional programs. A detailed program list is available on the Mayor’s Fund website at www.nyc.gov/fund. New York City residents who were affected by Hurricane Sandy can access the services provided by these programs by calling 311 or visiting www.nyc.gov.

Marc La Vorgna / Kamran Mumtaz

(212) 788-2958
Peter Spencer
Housing Recovery
(212) 615-8085