Our summary of a statement released yesterday by the Mayor’s Press Office:
Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer have announced the allocation of approximately $3 billion in federal funding to repair and protect 33 New York City public housing developments that sustained severe damage during Hurricane Sandy – the largest FEMA grant in the history of the agency.
The Mayor’s Office described the FEMA grant yesterday as “unprecedented.”
“This historic and essential funding will restore livable housing for thousands of families and fortify NYCHA [New York City Housing Authority] against future disasters,” says the City.
Several major NYCHA developments lie in flood zones. The FEMA funds will go to 14 developments in Manhattan, 12 in Brooklyn, and 7 in Queens.
Half of the funds will be designated for repairs, while the other half will be aimed at implementing resiliency measures to better protect developments from future storms. The funding is authorized by FEMA’s Alternative Procedures, which provides a lump sum payment instead of the typical incremental funding by FEMA.
“Too many [NYCHA residents] are still feeling the impact [of Sandy],” said Mayor de Blasio.
“This investment…won’t simply bring NYCHA developments back to pre-Sandy conditions,” said the Mayor. “It will allow us to fortify buildings and utilities…From elevated boilers and standby generators to flood protection, this investment will go a long way for thousands of NYCHA residents.”
According to City Hall, the new Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency is implementing other “key” climate resiliency measures, including flood protection systems in lower Manhattan and Red Hook, Brooklyn, and many other short-, medium-, and long-term measures across the five boroughs.
Protecting NYCHA Residents from Future Storms
The approximately $3 billion in FEMA funding will allow the New York City Housing Authority to make critical repairs at 33 developments where Sandy’s storm surge flooded basements and first floors, severely damaging boilers and electrical and mechanical equipment, and leaving many residents without power and heat for days or weeks.
In many cases, NYCHA electrical and mechanical systems were completely destroyed during Sandy, says the City.
The FEMA funds will also allow NYCHA to take measures to make the 33 developments more resilient to future storms and extreme weather. This includes new construction of elevated boilers, installation of flood barrier systems, and acquisition of stand-by generators.
NYCHA Residents Targeted for Resiliency Jobs
The work completed via this funding will be subject to NYCHA’s recently negotiated Project Labor Agreement with the Building and Construction Trades Council (BCTC) of Greater New York, as well as its affiliated unions – allowing NYCHA residents to gain access to union jobs and training and helping ensure swifter capital construction.
FEMA $$$ Aside, NYCHA Is Facing a Massive Budget Deficit
NYCHA requires more than $18 billion beyond the funding announced yesterday to address its broader unmet capital needs across its portfolio of more than 330 developments.
Eroding annual support for NYCHA has resulted in more than $1 billion in lost funding in recent years, hindering the Authority’s ability to keep its buildings in a state of decent repair and maintain a basic quality of life for the more than 400,000 New Yorkers living in NYCHA.
[Editor’s Note: The Daily News reported in December that NYCHA was nearing a deal to sell a 50% stake in almost 900 apartments to a pair of private developers. Some of the 900 apartments reportedly targeted for the deal are located in NYCHA’s Campos Plaza development in Manhattan, which is also receiving some of the just-announced FEMA funding.
The cash infusion from private developers would raise $100 million over the next two years and another $100 million through 2029, according to the Daily News.]
The 33 NYCHA developments slated to receive FEMA funding
- Riis I
- Riis II
- Metro North
- East River Houses
- Smith Houses
- La Guardia
- Campos I
- Campos II
- Rangel Houses
- Two Bridges
- Red Hook West
- Red Hook East
- Coney Island Houses
- Coney Island Site 1B
- Coney Island Sites 4 & 5
- Coney Island Site 8
- Carey Gardens
- Surfside Gardens
- O’Dwyer Gardens
- Haber Houses
- Hammel Houses
- Ocean Bay Oceanside
- Ocean Bay Bayside
- Carleton Manor
- Beach 41st
Repair and mitigation work at the 33 developments will include:
• New elevated boiler buildings to be built at 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 standby generators to protect quality of life in any future storm power outages
• Removal and replacement of existing electrical equipment at lower levels of the buildings
• Removal and replacement of conduit and associated wiring below the flood level throughout the sites, as well as replacement of associated lighting
• Installation of CCTV/Layered Access systems
• New electrical buildings, to be built above FEMA FIRM to reduce flood risk, that will house buildings’ main electrical components.
• Removal and replacement of Sandy damaged doors, walls, floors and fixtures throughout buildings’ first floor apartments and common areas
• Replacement of damaged roofing components
• Installation of a flood barrier system for lower levels of buildings
Site Work and Environmental
• Removal and replacement of damaged play areas, fencing, sidewalks and parking areas
• Removal and disposal of any regulated or hazardous materials
Photo credit: Jade Doskow via New York Observer GalleristNY