Additional Information on the NYC Rapid Repairs Program


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 26, 2012

MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES LANDLORDS OF STORM-DAMAGED BUILDINGS MUST IMMEDIATELY TAKE ACTION TO RESTORE HEAT AND ELECTRICITY

Buildings Damaged by the Storm and Unable to Provide Essential Services Can Sign Up for NYC Rapid Repairs

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua announced today that owners and landlords of multi-family residential buildings impacted by Hurricane Sandy must take action to make the necessary repairs to provide electricity, heat and hot water to their tenants. Building owners who need assistance can sign up for the NYC Rapid Repairs program so that the damage can be quickly assessed and repairs can be made to have these essential services restored. As temperatures continue to drop, endangering the health and safety of the tenants in storm damaged buildings, these essential services must be restored as quickly as possible. In affected areas, roughly 95 percent of buildings that are more than six stories have had their critical utility services fully restored. For mid-sized buildings with multiple units that are below six stories, nearly 70 percent have had their electricity and heat restored. Owners who fail to promptly correct hazardous conditions themselves or do not sign up with NYC Rapid Repairs to restore essential services to their buildings will be subject to the commencement of enforcement proceedings. The Mayor made the announcement at City Hall and was also joined by Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda Gibbs, Department of Homeless Services Seth Diamond and Director of Housing Recovery Operations Brad Gair.

“Landlords must take action to improve building conditions for their tenants – it’s their legal obligation,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The City, though our Rapid Repairs program, has the resources to help make the fixes needed to restore essential services. Landlords must put these resources to work now, as the weather gets colder and health risks increase.”

“Since the storm hit, homeowners and landlords across the City have been working tirelessly to get New Yorkers back into their homes with power, heat and hot water – but with the onset of cold weather Mayor Bloomberg and our Administration will ensure that all landlords meet their obligations to their tenants as soon as possible,” Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel said. “The work of recovery from the storm won’t be complete until every New Yorker displaced by the storm is back in a home with all services restored.”

“It’s an owner’s legal obligation to provide their tenants with essential services such as electricity and heat,” said of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Wambua. “We realize that many people, owners included, have suffered hardships because of Hurricane Sandy. However, with the days getting colder it is imperative that these critical services are restored. If owners need assistance, the City’s Rapid Repair program is there to help make assessments and get the work done quickly.”

“As the weather gets colder, we cannot stress enough the importance of making sure those who are living in homes or apartments without heat get to a warmer place,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “Prolonged exposure to cold is not just uncomfortable, it is dangerous, especially for infants, the elderly, and people with chronic diseases.”

Multi-family residential property owners in New York City are required to provide all essential services and maintain their buildings in habitable conditions that protect the life, health and safety of their tenants. Building owners have two options:

  • Owners and landlords may correct the conditions themselves and submit a timely certification to HPD.
  • Owners and landlords may sign up for the NYC Rapid Repairs program by calling 311, going to NYC.gov or visiting one of the City’s Restoration Centers.

Owners who fail to promptly correct these hazardous conditions themselves or do not sign up with NYC Rapid Repairs to restore essential services to their buildings will be subject to the commencement of enforcement proceedings.

Prolonged exposure to cold increases health risks from a variety of causes, including:

  • Hypothermia, or dangerously low body temperature
  • Worsening of respiratory and cardiovascular conditions
  • Exposure to carbon monoxide, respiratory irritants, and fire risks among those using stoves for heat, generators for electricity, or candles for light

Hypothermia is a life-threatening condition. It occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce it. Hypothermia can happen gradually and without the person realizing how serious it is. The symptoms of hypothermia include: uncontrollable shivering, weakness, confusion, and lack of coordination. In infants, signs of hypothermia may include: cold, bright red skin, or very low energy.

Mayor Bloomberg launched NYC Rapid Repairs earlier this month to streamline the process for restoring power, heat and hot water to damaged homes. Under the typical process, homeowners are responsible for arranging repair work, and applying for federal reimbursement. Through NYC Rapid Repairs and in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the City coordinates assessments and repair work so that they happen more quickly and efficiently. The City also covers the construction costs. Homeowners can enroll in NYC Rapid Repairs by visiting NYC.gov or calling 311. A FEMA ID number is required and can be provided through DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362. The Rapid Repairs teams will work closely with City agencies, including the Department of Buildings and Department of Housing Preservation and Development, to make sure that any necessary inspections and certifications are done as quickly as possible.

The 2012/2013 “heat season” started on October 1, 2012 and continues through May 31, 2013. During heat season, residential building owners with tenants are required by law to maintain an indoor temperature of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit between 6:00 A.M. and 10:00 P.M. when the outdoor temperature falls below 55 degrees. Between 10:00 P.M. and 6:00 A.M., building owners must maintain an indoor temperature of 55 degrees when the outside temperature falls below 40 degrees. Hot water is required to be maintained at 120 degrees year-round.

A Message from the RSA: Moratorium on Evictions

Rent Stabilization AssociationSince Hurricane Sandy struck on October 28th, warrants issued by the Housing Court for residential evictions, regardless of whether the dwellings are located within the areas affected by the storm, have not been enforced by City Marshals at the request of City officials. That moratorium on evictions continues. RSA has been informed that commercial evictions will resume on Monday, November 19th, and that residential evictions will resume, after the Thanksgiving holiday, on Monday, November 26th. However, despite the anticipated resumption in evictions throughout the City, property owners in affected areas should know that the Marshals have been “directed to use reasonable discretion in zip codes impacted by the storm.”  

CIVIL COURT, CITY OF NEW YORK: DIRECTIVES AND PROCEDURES:

Default Judgments entered after Hurricane Sandy- http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/nyc/SSI/directives/DRP/DRP197.pdf

Warrant of evictions issued after Hurricane Sandy- http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/nyc/SSI/directives/DRP/DRP198.pdf 

 

The affected areas have been defined by the following zip codes:

County:

Staten Island
No evictions until further notice.

Kings
11231 Red Hook Area
11236 Canarsie Area
11234 Bergen Beach, Mill Island Area
11224 Sea Gate/ Coney Island Area
11235 Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach Area

Queens
11414 Howard Beach
11691,11692,11693,11694,11695,11697 Rockaways

Bronx

10464 City Island

Manhattan
10280 North Battery Park City
10281 World Financial Center
10282 South Battery Park City
10004 Bowling Green
10005 Wall Street
10006 Trinity

Governor Cuomo Announces Homeowners Will Not Have to Pay Hurricane Deductibles

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that New York homeowners will not have to pay potentially large hurricane deductibles on insurance claims stemming from damage caused by Monday’s storm.

 

The New York State Department of Financial Services has informed the insurance industry that hurricane deductibles should not be triggered for this storm. This will prevent coastal homeowners from having to pay deductibles in their insurance policies.

 

“Homeowners should not have to pay hurricane deductibles for damage caused by the storm and insurers should understand the Department of Financial Services will be monitoring how claims are handled,” Governor Cuomo said.

 

Many homeowners’ insurance policies for homes located in downstate areas contain hurricane deductibles based on a percentage of a property’s insured value. These deductibles typically range from one percent of a home’s insured value to five percent. So for example, with a five percent deductible on a home insured for $300,000, the homeowner would have to pay for the first $15,000 of damage.

 

Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, said, “We have informed the insurance industry that hurricane deductibles are not triggered because Sandy did not have sustained hurricane-force winds when it made land in New York. We will be working with insurers to help them respond as quickly as possible to homeowners who need to file claims. And we will be sending our mobile command center to hard hit areas to help consumers with insurance questions and problems.”

 

DFS urges homeowners who experienced property losses to file insurance claims with their insurers promptly and as soon as possible after losses occur. It is important to provide policy numbers and all information relevant to the loss. To best document losses, homeowners should to take photos or videos showing the extent of the losses before cleaning up damage.

 

Homeowners should make only necessary repairs to prevent further damage to property, like covering broken windows. Permanent repairs should not be made until after insurers have inspected losses. Damaged personal property should be kept until after an insurance settlement has been reached.

 

In addition, homeowners should cooperate fully with their insurer and keep a diary of all conversations with the insurance agent, including the agent’s name, as well as the times and dates of all calls or visits. 

 

Homeowners are also reminded that flood damage is only covered by flood insurance, which is a federal program administered by FEMA. Homeowners who have flood insurance and have flood damage should make claims through that insurance.

 

DFS will be sending its mobile command center to hard hit areas to help consumers with insurance questions and problems.

 

DFS has activated a Disaster Hotline to answer consumer questions and help with problems. The Disaster Hotline number is 800-339-1759. It is staffed Monday – Friday from 8 AM – 8 PM and Saturday – Sunday from 9 AM – 4 PM.

 

Homeowners unable to resolve disputes with insurers can file complaints at http://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumer/fileacomplaint.htm.

 


Small Business Administration Information

 

According to New York Legal Help:

Small Business Administration (SBA):

The SBA has set up a disaster assistance hotline at 1-800-659-2955. The SBA provides low interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes (including nonprofits), up to $2 million. To be eligible for SBA assistance, businesses or nonprofits must have sustained physical or economic damage and be located in a disaster declared county. Renters and homeowners, a group that includes most sole proprietors, can borrow up to $40,000 for repairs and to replace things like appliances, furniture, automobiles, and clothing. People who own homes can apply for as much as $200,000 for repairs to their primary residences.  For application information, visit http://www.sba.gov/content/business-physical-disaster-loans or emailDisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Also visit  their website to learn more and apply.

  • SBA representatives will be at the Stony Brook Small Business Development Center along with SBDC business advisers on Monday, Nov. 12, to help small business owners learn what SBA resources are available to help recovery after Hurricane Sandy and to help complete all the necessary forms. To register, call (631) 632-9837 or email sbdc@stonybrook.edu.
  • SBA has opened up two Business Recovery Centers in Brooklyn and Long Island to provide one-on-one help in applying for disaster assistance for losses caused by Hurricane Sandy.  The Centers are opening as indicated below, until further notice:

Kings Co. IKEA – Brooklyn 1 Beard Street (Coney Island Room) Brooklyn, NY  11231.  
Opening: Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. Hours: Mon – Sun, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Nassau Co. Farmingdale State College SBDC Training Center 2350 Broad Hollow Rd Farmingdale, NY  11735.
Opening: Friday, Nov.  9, 2012. Hours: Mon – Fri, 9 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sat and Sun, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

NYC Housing Court Update

According to New York City Housing Court:

The Civil, Housing and Small Claims courts will be open in all five(5) boroughs, from Tuesday, November 13, 2012 to Friday, November 16, 2012. The courts will operate on a regular schedule. 

The Redhook Community Justice Center is closed. If you have a Housing case scheduled in Redhook, your case will be postponed. The Court will mail you the new date. 

If you have a Housing emergency in Redhook, please go to the Kings Civil Court located at 141 Livingston Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201. 

There will be no evictions during the week of November 12, 2012-November 16, 2012. 

Your case will be given a new date if the court was closed due to the storm, or if you were not able to come to court for cases scheduled from Monday, October 29, 2012 through Friday, November 9, 2012. The Civil Court will mail you the new date. 

Please check back for further information. 

If you have a Housing or Civil Court emergency please call 1 800-COURTNY (1 800-268-7869) or visit our website at NYCOURTS.GOV.”

Hurricane Sandy HHW Disposal

From the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)

This information applies to household hazardous waste (HHW) generated as a result of damage from Hurricane Sandy. HHW such as contaminated petroleum products, paint and pesticides should be disposed of properly to protect people’s health and the environment (see Accepted Items below). The public is urged to separate potentially hazardous wastes from their regular trash and bring them to one of the newly established drop-off locations or place them on the curb in areas where there will be curbside pickup (see HHW Collection for Specific Communities below). Any chemical or oil spills, such as from home heating oil tanks, must be reported to NYSDEC through the agency’s Spills Hotline at 1-800-457-7362.

Accepted Items

  • Household Cleaners: Ammonia-based cleaners; oven and drain cleaners; floor care products; aerosol cleaners; window cleaners; furniture polish; metal polishes and cleaners; tub, tile, and toilet bowl cleaners.
  • Paints & Related Products: Latex, water, and oil-based paints; turpentine paint stripper; rust remover; paint thinner; and varnish.
  • Automotive Fluids: Used motor oil and filters; gasoline and diesel fuel; kerosene; auto body repair products; windshield washer solution; antifreeze; brake and transmission fluid; and metal polish.
  • Batteries: Lead-acid batteries; rechargeable batteries; NiCad; NiMH; mercury batteries; and car batteries.
  • Lawn & Garden-care Products: Bug spray; fertilizer; pesticides; fungicides; herbicides and products that kill rodents.
  • Beauty Products & Medicines: Alcohol-based lotions; isopropyl alcohol; expired or damaged medicines (drop-off locations but not curbside); nail polish and remover; hair relaxers; dyes and permanents; and products in aerosol cans.
  • Miscellaneous: Fluorescent lights; mercury thermometers; photographic chemicals; lighter fluids; shoe polish; fiberglass epoxy; swimming pool chemicals; moth balls; and glue.

Not Accepted

  • Ammunition and guns;
  • Sharps;
  • Building or construction materials;
  • Infectious medical wastes;
  • Tires or other automotive parts.

Oil-contaminated debris or material contaminated by other petroleum or chemical products should be separated and stored in a well-ventilated area. If placed on the curb, they should be placed in transparent trash bags or labeled, if possible. If large amounts are stored outdoors (e.g., oil-soaked dry wall debris), the piles should be covered to keep rain from contaminating nearby soil and water.

Items touched by flood waters may contain bacteria from sewage or toxic chemicals from garden chemicals, fuels, or other sources. Porous items should be dried right away to prevent mold. If possible, household furnishings should be cleaned and disinfected. If they cannot be cleaned, they should be discarded. Hard, non-porous surfaces should also be cleaned. For detailed advice, see the State Department of Health’s website.

HHW Collection for Specific Communities

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the NYSDEC are working with local communities to establish temporary drop-off and storage areas for storm-generated household debris. Links to information regarding drop-off locations and curbside pickups for the following Counties are here:

HHW Collection in New York City

HHW Collection in Suffolk County

HHW Collection in Nassau County

You can find more information by calling the USEPA at 888-283-7626 during normal business hours to obtain specific disposal information. Additional information about HHW may be found on the USEPA’s website.

More about Hurricane Sandy HHW Disposal:

Con Ed Restoration Update

Con Edison Media Relations
November 12, 2012
9:00 a.m.


NEW YORK – The largest customer restoration effort in Con Edison’s history is wrapping up.

Since Hurricane Sandy and a Nor’easter pounded New York City and Westchester County company crews and thousands of utility workers from around the country restored electricity to more than 1 million customers.

This morning, the last customers in Westchester affected by Hurricane Sandy, whose equipment could be restored, were getting their electricity back.

Overnight, the last customers in New York City hit by Sandy’s devastation – whose equipment could be restored – had their power turned on.

The 1 million restorations do not include approximately 16,300 customers in flood-ravaged areas of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. Those customers cannot get electrical service until their own internal equipment is repaired, tested and certified by an electrician as ready for service. Con Edison crews were able to restore power to approximately 13,600 customers in those shoreline communities.

The company is working with the New York City Buildings Department to expedite the restoration of these customers. For information, click here: http://www.coned.com/es/Energy-Services-Flyer.pdf.

Sandy caused five times as many outages as the next largest storm in Con Edison history, Hurricane Irene, which hit in August 2011. The company has gone through a year’s worth of some materials since Hurricane Sandy struck. Con Edison and thousands of mutual aid and contractor personnel replaced 60 miles of electric cable and responded to tens of thousands of locations.

In the wake of those storms, the company will be rebuilding and replacing more equipment to ensure reliability.

Customers can use their mobile devices, as well as computers, to report power interruptions or service problems at www.conEd.com. They also may call 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).

The company is working closely with the New York City Office of Emergency Management, the Westchester Office of Emergency Services and other emergency officials to respond to the effects of Hurricane Sandy and the Nor’easter.