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Queens Chronicle

A new city program for Sandy recovery

Bloomberg debuts ‘Build it Back’

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Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:40 am, Thu Jun 13, 2013.

As the city’s Rapid Repairs program continues to provide service to homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Bloomberg announced this week another city program to help in the recovery efforts.

Called “Build it Back,” the program aims to give residents who still need help rebuilding or reconstructing damaged homes easier access to federal aid money. It will utilize $648 million of the $1.77 billion community block grant given to the city earlier this year by the federal government.

It provides several pathways to help New Yorkers still rebuilding from Sandy:

• A professional contractor can help eligible participants whose homes require minor to moderate repairs. Registrants also can select their own contractor within Federal and program guidelines.

• If a home is substantially damaged and needs to be rebuilt, qualifying participants can choose a home model that is designed specifically for their community, uses the best available resiliency standards and is designed by a NYC Build it Back developer. Alternatively, registrants can choose their own architect and contractor to develop and build their homes within federal and program guidelines.

• The city can also help participants recover eligible out-of-pocket costs for minor repairs already made to their homes that satisfy all U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other requirements. This specifically has been an issue among many who have already paid for fixes, but cannot get reimbursements through new programs or moved too quickly with fixes to take part in programs like Rapid Repairs.

• Some owners may want to voluntarily sell their homes and in some cases, the city will be able to work with communities to strategically redevelop these properties in a smarter, more resilient way. Housing recovery specialists will be able to explain these options.

Those interested in participating should visit nyc.gov or call 311 for more information.

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