With the October 31st deadline for New York City’s Build It Back program just three weeks away, Democratic city council candidate Chaim Deutsch is urging all tenants, homeowners and landlords who are still recovering from last fall’s mega-storm to register for the long-term rebuilding program.
“It’s been almost a year since Superstorm Sandy hit and so many people have received little or no help in the recovery process,” said Deutsch, who volunteered as a first responder and led teams of volunteers before, during and after last year’s superstorm. Almost one year later, many city residents are still struggling to rebuild, with financial issues further compounding the problem.
“Insurance checks and FEMA assistance were not forthcoming in many cases and in other cases these forms of assistance covered only a fraction of the actual costs,” explained Deutsch.
Deutsch called upon area residents to take advantage of Build it Back, which is offering New Yorkers who are still recovering from Hurricane Sandy federal funding for repairs and rebuilding, as well as Housing Recovery Specialists to guide them through the restoration process. Build it Back is available to homeowners, tenants and landlords and, under certain conditions, may also offer retroactive reimbursement on previously done repairs.
Reimbursement from city programs has often been slow and Deutsch called upon City Hall to expedite payment, vowing to do his part, when elected, to speed up the process.
“It is now a year after Hurricane Sandy and we need to ensure that people get their lives back to normal. As a city councilman I intend to fight for prompt payment so that history does not repeat itself when it comes to peoples’ lives. We need to be certain that in the future, disaster recovery will never take this long.”
Deutsch advised all storm victims to take advantage of the city run initiative by registering promptly.
“Many people have criticized these programs because, in the past, reimbursement has been delayed or denied,” said Deutsch. “But the only way to effectively fight for sufficient reimbursement is to make your losses known through the registration process. If you have not registered, you are missing out on a potential opportunity and it would be a shame for anyone to miss the deadline for this program.”
Residents can register for Build it Back either:
· ONLINE at: www.nyc.gov/builditback; OR
· CALL 311 or 888-273-1112 to make an appointment with a Recovery Specialist at a local Registration Center.
Presently there are two Registration Centers in Brooklyn:
1. Coney Island
NYC Human Resources Administration Center
3050 West 21st Street (by Surf Avenue)
Brooklyn, NY 11224
2. Mill Basin
Community Board 18
1097 Bergen Avenue (and Avenue K)
Brooklyn, NY 11234
Deutsch vowed to continue fighting on behalf of those who are still struggling.
“The recovery efforts are very important to me, as is a safe and vibrant waterfront community in Southern Brooklyn. I am committed to continue doing everything possible to help people get their lives back on track and I will continue to fight for appropriate reimbursement of all losses incurred by Superstorm Sandy victims.”
Chaim Deutsch is a Community Activist and Candidate for the NYC Council in the 48th Council District, which includes the neighborhoods of Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Homecrest and Midwood.