Archive for the tag 'homes'

Photo by Erica Sherman

New York City’s Rapid Repairs program, launched to help rebuild homes thrashed by Superstorm Sandy, has been abandoning local Sheepshead Bay and Gerritsen Beach residents, according to a report in the New York Daily News.

As we’ve previously reported, NYC’s Rapid Repairs program – launched by Bloomberg’s office two weeks after Sandy steamrolled the city – has been a confusing and ineffective initiative, baffling residents with its complex registration process.

Those patient enough to sort through the red tape were visited by contractors who performed estimates and began preliminary repairs. The problem for many Sheepshead residents is that those repairmen have yet to come back to finish what they’ve started.

“All I have is a house with no walls,” said Sheepshead Bay bungalow owner Cindy Fuchs, 40, choking back tears outside her moldy, dark Mesereau Court home that’s still without power and a working boiler.

Fuchs hasn’t heard from NYC Rapid Repairs since a group of men knocked down her fungus-covered walls last month.

“I don’t know what to do. I am just waiting,” said Fuchs, a middle school teacher’s aide, who asked Occupy Sandy volunteers to finish the job.

Fuchs isn’t alone in her frustration as many residents have been left in the cold by the Rapid Repairs crew.

“They said they needed to get a part – and then they never showed,” said Sheepshead Bay grandmother Diane Bisset, 72, draped in a green bathrobe inside her cold Batchelder Street home.

Rapid Repairs installed a new $2,100 heater that hasn’t stayed warm since it went in two weeks ago, Bisset said. “I know there are a lot of people and so little time, but this is ridiculous.”

Her grandaughter Erica Zito, 24, teamed up with other volunteers cleaning out houses visited by Rapid Repair workers who haven’t completed the jobs.

“You have to wait too long. We can’t wait that long,” Zito said.

The Rapid Repairs crews, divided into groups of electricians,  plumbers and demo men, all have different schedules and have failed to communicate with each other regarding what’s needed for certain houses. The lack of communication extends to the residents as well, with many complaining that, once visited, they never hear back.

Peter Spencer, spokesman for the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery, told the Daily News that a greater effort is needed.

“We are ramping up our efforts constantly to get to all of these homes as soon as possible.” According to Spencer, of the 4,200 Brooklyn homes that have registered for help, 1,000 are finished or are on track for repair.

Photo by Erica Sherman

If Hurricane Sandy damaged your home, you may receive assistance rebuilding or repairing your home with the launch of the NYC Rapid Repair Program.

City officials established the program, beginning tomorrow, which will assist those hardest hit by Sandy to repair their homes and restore power in a streamlined manner.

Contractors, plumbers, and electricians will canvass homes that need repairs and perform them. Homeowners can also make arrangements for repairs and later apply to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for reimbursement.

Starting Tuesday, November 13, 2012, you can make an appointment for Rapid Repair service. First, you must have registered for disaster assistance with FEMA by going to, and have a FEMA ID number.

Then, sign up for the NYC Rapid Repair services by registering online, calling 311 or visiting a Disaster Assistance Service Center and registering there.

A contractor will come to your home and assess the damage, then a work order will be created and contractors will fix the home.

“A house, or an apartment complex or a commercial building where the electrical facilities were underwater, it is a safety problem. And I’m very proud that the City of New York has streamlined the process,” said Nick Lizanich of LIPA to NY1.

Almost every house on the three-block stretch of Corbin Place looks like the houses next to this garish monster. Then there’s this.

When we first brought you photos of the construction at 153 Corbin Place, we told you to blame the city for its weak zoning laws (which this house may be in violation of, as it protrudes further out than neighbors’ on both sides) that don’t go far enough in identifying common architectural elements to preserve. Owners, we felt, should be expected to do what they want with the property, and it’s the city’s responsibility to institute limits and create community standards.

But putting the blame on the city’s shoulder didn’t stop the owner from getting pissed. She called us up and freaked out. “Wait ’til you see it when it’s finished,” she said. “You can’t tell anything now; it’ll be a beautiful home.”

Nope. Still fugly. And now I blame you, too.