November 11, 2016
By Neal Tepel
New York, NY – New York City legislation has been passed that will expedite approval of demolition and construction work performed by City-procured contractors under the Build it Back program.
“It’s been 4 years since Hurricane Sandy made landfall and devastated communities across New York City,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “We will never forget the lives lost to the hurricane, or how New Yorkers came together in the days and weeks that followed. Many neighborhoods are still working to rebuild, and we at the City Council affirm our commitment to aiding that process inasmuch as we are able. This bill will give these homeowners a pathway to immediately start the repairs and elevation they need.”
Intro. 1341 allows the City to speed up construction in two ways. First, it will expedite the demolition process by allowing paperwork to be completed post-demolition, as long as the work is supervised by licensed safety professionals. Second, it will allow projects that could not proceed because of violations pre-dating Build It Back to move forward while at the same time ensuring the safety of these homes. In the past, the Administration and the City Council provided tax relief for property owners affected by Sandy and has also removed unnecessary zoning restrictions on elevation and construction. Intro. 1341 is another improvement to the Build it Back program to help homeowners move into safer, more resilient homes faster.
“This bill is intended to ensure that homes move forward to completion quickly and safely. With this legislation, Build It Back can expedite the demolition of homes. The bill has also created a pathway forward for homeowners whose homes have pre-existing violations or open permits. Homeowners in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island will see their projects move forward because of this legislation,” said Amy Peterson, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recoverperations and the Build it Back Program.
Four long years after Hurricane Sandy, many New Yorkers are still waiting to be able to return home. This city must not allow red tape or sluggish bureaucracy to continue to delay the full recovery of the families enrolled in the Build it Back program. The legislation is designed to remove unnecessary obstacles that have prevented the Build it Back program from moving forward, while ensuring that rigorous safety standards are upheld.
“We are pushing every day to accelerate construction, cut red tape and get people back in their homes,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.