Thousands of New Yorkers who live in co-ops suffered extensive damage to their property during Superstorm Sandy last year.
But unlike the homeowners on Staten Island and other parts of the storm-ravaged coastline, the co-op owners do not qualify for federal assistance to repair some of the damage to their apartments. That’s because under Federal Read More
It’s not the holiday homecoming that Hurricane Sandy refugees had dreamed of, but a temporary apartment is a definite upgrade from a shelter, a hotel room or a couch.
As of this week, refugees will be able to peruse some 2,500 apartment listings specifically set aside for Sandy victims on both Urban Edge and the FEMA website.
As New York continues to grapple with closed subway stations and an overcrowded shelter system following Hurricane Sandy’s late October destruction, the City is looking for a little help from its friends in Washington. Mayor Michael Bloomberg sent a letter to members of New York’s Congressional delegation today, estimating the damage caused by late October’s superstorm at $19 billion in public and private losses.
If another Sandy hits a year or three from now, few New Yorkers should have to call tent cities and high school gymnasiums home.
Instead, they will be living inside shipping containers.
For the past five years, the Bloomberg administration has been quietly developing a first-of-its-kind disaster housing program, creating modular apartments uniquely designed for the challenges of urban living. Carved out of shipping containers, these LEGO-like, stackable apartments offer all the amenities of home. Or more, since they are bigger, and brighter, than the typical Manhattan studio. It’s the FEMA trailer of the future, built with the Dwell reader in mind.
“It’s nicer than my apartment,” David Burney, commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction, said in a phone interview last week.
At the outset of the third week since Hurricane Sandy hit, it has become clear that normal in some corners of the city will be a long time coming. From the beginning, it was obvious that rebuilding the homes that burned in Breezy Point, or were washed away by surging sea water in Staten Island, would take many months. But now a number of other New Yorkers, who had expected power, heat and electricity to be restored in a matter of days, are still living without.
City, state and national officials are scrambling to find short- and long-term housing for the many New Yorkers displaced by the storm, begging landlords to help them identify vacant apartments, reports The New York Times.
Hurricane Sandy has left thousands, possibly tens of thousands of New Yorkers without their homes. There will be much rebuilding for many months, if not years, on the South Shore, Red Hook, Coney, the Rockaways and beyond. Whether it is an entire house, from the foundation up, or some section of home, the wall, the room, the mechanical systems, thousands of homeowners are in desperate need of help, especially as winter sets in.
Normally, this might pose a particular challenge—contractors are already plenty busy, and who knows if they insurance company of FEMA will pay up in time. “Until today, homeowners would have largely been left to fend for themselves to get an electrician or a contractor to get this work done,” Mayor Bloomberg remarked at a press briefing this afternoon. “While FEMA offers assistance to pay for these repairs, it was still up to the homeowner to arrange for the work and carry it out.”
A storm from the tropics blew through town last week. It left wintry weather in its wake, along with a path of destruction that has left as many as 40,000 New Yorkers temporarily homeless. Half of them are expected to be unable to go home for weeks or months, assuming they even have homes to return to. Serious damage to heat and electrical infrastructure in apartment buildings and homes on the waterfront are among the most serious issues that have created a housing crisis for the city following Hurricane Sandy.
“Many of the fears we have is that with cold weather coming, we have to make sure people can stay warm,” Mayor Bloomberg said at an afternoon press briefing. “Among the hardest hit are the Rockaways and Staten Island. A lot of places aren’t gonna have electricity but are going to experience the cold. That is the next big problem for us.”
Hurricane Sandy Help
While many New Yorkers are beginning to return to some semblance of their pre-Sandy routines, the scores of residents who remain displaced in the days to weeks and come will doubtless find it more difficult.
Turns out that the Snowpocalypse was even worse than anyone thought: with the estimated bill for cleanup coming to tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are imploring President Obama to approve New York State’s Disaster Declaration request and allow the city to receive federal aid.
The December storm blanketed Read More
Today’s “Cities at Risk” conference, organized by Milano, The New School for Management and Urban Policy, could not have been planned more appropriately. Yesterday, President Bush named R. David Paulison to replace former FEMA director Michael Brown.
Held in the Tishman Auditorium, Mr. Brown joined James Lee Witt, (FEMA Director under Read More