SI Advance: Ten years ago Hurricane Sandy ravaged Staten Island’s shoreline, leaving damage that would take years to repair. In the years following the historic storm, the city, state and federal government created various programs to recover areas hit hardest and build infrastructure to mitigate flooding and potential damage from future storms. Programs, such as Build it Back, served to alleviate the financial burden for residents rebuilding their homes to be storm resilient. Some shoreline protection projects were seen all the way through, while long-term ones, such as the Living Breakwaters were delayed several times and remain in progress.
REPAIRING EXTENSIVE DAMAGE FROM THE STORM: Build it Back
The New York City Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations (HRO) launched the “Build it Back” program in 2013 aimed at enhancing the resiliency of waterfront neighborhoods through repair, rebuilding and the elevation of homes. The program was slow to kick in due to poor communication with applicants and delays in making construction agreements as well as lost paperwork, according to the city’s independent Department of Investigation (DOI) report in 2014. The program is a sore spot for many Staten Islanders who reported low quality work that caused further complications in restoring their homes.
By December 2019, more than a dozen Staten Island families who participated in the Build it Back program had liens placed on their homes while the city was resolving payment disputes with contractors. By the time this story was written it was unclear about the status of the leins. Read more>>