Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State has provided $47,274,759 to New York City for reimbursement of costs incurred following the impact of Superstorm Sandy. These costs resulted from the use of emergency protective and repair measures, such as restoring electric service, basic heat, hot water, and exterior repairs to damaged homes that enabled residents to shelter in place in their homes rather relocate temporarily to public shelters or other locations.
"Despite Sandy's devastating damage, in some instances homeowners were able to shelter in place while their property received emergency repairs, making their homes habitable," said Governor Cuomo. "I am pleased to direct these funds back to the Department of Environment Protection for the work that was carried out under the Rapid Repair Program, which was then developed by the State and FEMA into the Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) Pilot Program for similar needs beyond New York City."
"After Hurricane Sandy, the City became the first local jurisdiction to establish its own housing recovery program, Rapid Repairs, which has helped more than 20,000 families return to their homes," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "Rapid Repairs -- which restored heat, hot water and electricity free-of-charge -- provided homeowners with an important head-start in the recovery process, which is still far from over. As we continue the hard work of recovery and rebuilding, there is no doubt that helping people get back into their housing via Rapid Repairs was a better use of taxpayer money than a massive temporary housing program. I want to thank the entire team at FEMA who worked with us to make the program possible, and these reimbursements, along with the first round of Federal aid, will ensure the City can continue to address housing, business and infrastructure needs in the hardest hit communities."
"Restoring communities damaged by Superstorm Sandy is our department's highest priority and these Public Assistance reimbursement funds will help each of the affected communities, such as New York City, to get their fiscal affairs back in order," said NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jerome M. Hauer.
New York City's Rapid Repair Program included: maintaining a call center to register impacted property owners; conducting assessments of storm damage; evaluating scope of work assessments, and performing eligible emergency repairs; conducting safety inspections to ensure compliance with local codes and ordinances.
As the Rapid Repair Program progressed, New York State and FEMA developed the Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) Pilot Program to assist State, Local and Tribal governments in performing similar work and services essential to saving lives, protecting public health and safety, and protecting property. STEP was designed to reduce the demand for the establishment of other shelter options by affording individuals the opportunity to return to, or remain in their homes, and shelter-in-place. The STEP program consists of three distinct elements: Residential Electrical Meter Repairs, Shelter Essential Measures and Rapid Temporary Exterior Repairs.
The release of these federal funds are part of ongoing and anticipated future reimbursements the State will administer and pay to the affected municipalities. Municipalities are being reimbursed based on a variety of projects that include construction and demolition, sand and vegetative debris removal, EOC activations, evacuations, inspections and emergency IT repairs and restoration and the Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) program. The state will continue to make these reimbursement payments as FEMA obligates the funds.