Tuesday, March 25, 2014
 

 

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More money available to replace Sandy-destroyed boilers for more than 100 NYCHA buildings

NEW YORK - U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced a major step forward in Superstorm Sandy recovery for thousands of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents currently living in buildings with temporary boiler systems. After prolonged negotiations, Schumer secured a commitment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that they would provide funding for NYCHA to install new, state-of-the-art boilers to replace those damaged by the storm. Sixty boilers were damaged, and since then NYCHA has been utilizing temporary and costly boiler systems. In total, the boilers serve 110 separate residential buildings in Coney Island, Rockaway and the Lower East Side, affecting 8,862 units.
 
Since the storm, NYCHA has been spending $3 million per month for the temporary boilers, greatly taxing the already financially strapped agency. Normally FEMA will try to repair rather than replace damaged infrastructure and then subsequently negotiate the cost.  Today, Schumer and de Blasio announced that FEMA has agreed not to challenge NYCHA’s repair cost estimates and will pay for brand new boilers, rather than just repair the damaged ones.  This will greatly speed up the process of restoring normal service to the buildings impacted by the storm, which originally hadn't been scheduled to be completed until 2016.  Under the new agreement, FEMA and NYCHA are seeking to have the final funding agreement in place early this year so boiler replacement can start later this year.

"For more than 16 months, bureaucratic infighting and red tape have denied NYCHA residents the most basic of necessities -- reliable heat and hot water," said Schumer.  "Today we're firmly on the path to righting a wrong that has too often left NYCHA residents in the cold during the winter and in the dark at night. Mayor de Blasio and his team have been working hard with me on ending this unnecessary delay, and I want to thank them for their assistance."