Harlem’s Melissa Mark-Viverito Remarks Regarding Mayor de Blasio Legislation Signing

November 2, 2016

Melissa-Mark-Viverito-IOU_7934Mayor Bill de Blasio today signed legislation that will expedite approval of demolition and construction work performed by City-procured contractors under the Build it Back program.

“We are pushing every day to accelerate construction, cut red tape and get people back in their homes. I want to thank Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for her leadership, the bill’s sponsor, Council Member Mark Treyger, and the rest of the City Council for passing this essential bill,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“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. Today’s bill signing will give these homeowners a pathway to immediately start the repairs and elevation they need. I want to thank Council Member Mark Treyger for quickly ushering this critical piece of legislation.”

“I would like to thank Council Member Treyger for sponsoring this bill and the full Recovery and Resiliency Committee for their on-going support. This bill will ensure that homes move forward to completion quickly and safely. With this legislation, Build It Back can expedite the demolition of homes. We have 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 Recovery Operations and the Build it Back Program.

“We’re proud to work with Mayor de Blasio and all our partner agencies to ensure that families impacted by Superstorm Sandy can get back into their homes. We will continue to support efforts Citywide to get construction moving and build more resilient communities,” said Buildings Commissioner Rick D. Chandler, PE.

“After Sandy, the City committed to building resilient and sustainable neighborhoods and has made substantial progress. Upgrading our buildings and homes against changing climate impacts is a crucial part of that effort,” said Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Director for Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer for the Office of the Mayor. “Today’s bill signing represents one more way that the City is streamlining the recovery process and building more resilient neighborhoods.”

“Four long years after Hurricane Sandy, many New Yorkers are still waiting to be able to return home. We cannot allow red tape or sluggish bureaucracy to continue to delay the full recovery of the families enrolled in the Build it Back program. I am proud to have sponsored this long-overdue legislation, in partnership with the Mayor, and prouder still to see it signed into law. This bill 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,” said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Recovery and Resiliency.

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, this Administration and the City Council has 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.

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