2014-04-04 / Top Stories

Council Questions Build It Back


Councilman Eric Ulrich at the City Council’s Build It Back program hearings. Photo by William Alatriste, NYC Council Councilman Eric Ulrich at the City Council’s Build It Back program hearings. Photo by William Alatriste, NYC Council Nearly a year and half after Hurricane Sandy and nearly a year since its inception, the New York City’s Build It Back program is facing serious questions.

As the Daily News reported in mid-February, “Of the 19,920 people who applied for the city’s Build It Back program for home repairs, which started in June, not a single homeowner has seen construction work start.”

On Monday, March 31, the City Council Committees on Recovery and Resiliency, Housing and Buildings, and Environmental Protection held a joint hearing on the Build It Back program, which is designed to help repair or rebuild the homes of City residents that were damaged or destroyed by the storm.

Councilman Eric Ulrich questioned Amy Peterson, the newly appointed Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery, and conveyed the high level of frustration many of his constituents have experienced with the program. In addition, several local community leaders from Queens also attended to testify in person about the program.

According to Ulrich, “Build It Back has been an abysmal failure since day one. Bureaucratic red tape, lost paperwork, and overall lack of accountability have stood in the way of people getting the help they need. I am hoping that the new administration will address these long standing issues and deliver the relief that homeowners and residents have been waiting for.”

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