Borough President Eric Adams, Councilman Mark Treyger and the Mayor's Office of Housing Recovery are partnering to ask Brooklyn landlords and homeowners to provide temporary housing in currently vacant apartments for homeowners undergoing a renovation.
“Many believe that after several years since Hurricane Sandy hit that everyone has been made whole,” Adams said. “Countless families are still going through the process and still need assistance from every day New Yorkers.”'
Through his Office of Faith-Based and Clergy Initiatives, Adams will appeal to residents in neighborhoods like Brighton Beach, Canarsie, Coney Island, Red Hook and Sheepshead Bay, to name a few.
“We're reaching out to our clergy leaders to come together and use existing space that will allow people who are still going through the process to find some place to stay,” Adams said.
The Build it Back initiative was created in the wake of the storm to help reconstruct – and raise in some cases – homes in low-lying, flood-prone areas that were destroyed by Sandy. So far, they've finished construction on 1,496 homes in Brooklyn and raised 100 citywide. In total they've started projects on 2,441 homes, including 815 starts and 503 completes in Brooklyn.
According to Amy Peterson, director of the Mayor's Office of Housing Recovery, the current administration has set a goal to complete the Build it Back program by the end of the year. In the past few months, the case management process has been closed out and all homeowners were put into the design phase.
“I went on a tour today of Gerritsen Beach and Sheepshead Bay and Coney Island and Seagate and really saw a lot of homes in the air,” said Peterson. “That's just going to magnify in a huge way in the upcoming months.”
With all the homes entering the design phase, the issue now becomes finding housing while the work gets underway. The situations would be temporary and ideally in the communities they currently live in.
“We're really calling on landlords of all types to make their apartments available,” Peterson said. “These are short-term leases, they're going to be over this next year.”
The landlord will get guaranteed rent from the City. Those rents are $1,495 for a one-person household; $1561 for a two-person household; $1,851 for a three-person household; $2,380 for a four-person household; and $2,667 for a five-person household.
“We really hope that landlords and homeowners who have an opportunity to share their homes and provide a temporary location for people will step up,” Peterson added.
Treyger underscored the importance of the initiative in his district, which was hit particularly hard by the storm.
“We are appealing to New Yorkers again as we make a final push to finish rebuilding homes damaged by Sandy’s devastation,” he said. “It is imperative that we find housing opportunities for storm victims still in need of temporary relocation.”