In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, New York City has launched a "Rapid Repairs" program to quickly and efficiently make necessary repairs to damaged homes. Announced by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Director of Housing Operations, Brad Gair, the program sends teams of contractors and city inspectors into damaged neighborhoods to conduct free assessments of residential damage. In partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency ("FEMA"), the program presents an unprecedented and innovative way of using government resources to streamline recovery efforts.
The program will be implemented by dividing the city into geographic areas and assigning a program manager to each area. Once homeowners and commercial residential property owners register for the program, they will then receive an appointment with a contractor serving their geographic area. The contractor will conduct a free assessment, prepare a work order, and the owner will make the final decision as to whether or not they want to proceed with the repairs. Homeowners that wish to participate in the program must have registered with FEMA for disaster assistance, and must have received a FEMA ID number. However, commercial property owners of residential, multi-dwelling buildings do not need a FEMA ID number to participate in the program.
Contractors that wish to assist in the recovery efforts can now register for the program online. A registration form can be found on the website of The Building Trades Employers Association of New York City. Interested contractors must also register with the FEMA Disaster Response Registry's System for Award Management, and must complete the FEMA Vendor Profile Form. For a copy of the profile form, contractors should contact the Industry Liaison Support Center at FEMA-Industry@dhs.gov or call 206-646-1895.
If you would like more information on this issue or any other construction related issue, please contact Welby, Brady & Greenblatt, LLP at (914) 428-2100.