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City Launches 'Rapid Repair' Program for Homes Damaged by Sandy

By  Julie  Shapiro and Leslie Albrecht | November 9, 2012 6:13pm 

NEW YORK CITY — Storm-damaged homes will get speedy access to repairs under a new program that will send teams of contractors to neighborhoods hard hit by Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday.

The program, called NYC Rapid Repairs, is a partnership with FEMA that allows homeowners to circumvent the typical FEMA process so they can get their homes repaired faster. Usually FEMA requires homeowners to arrange their own repair work, which Bloomberg said was "a daunting task."

Homeowners that register for NYC Rapid Repairs will be quickly matched with contractors who will take charge of repairs and select subcontractors, electricians, plumbers, carpenters.

That's good news for some of the 50,000 Con Edison customers who are still without power. Of those, 20,000 will be restored through Con Ed work, but the remaining 30,000 can't have their electricity restored until repairs are made to salt-damaged equipment in their homes.

The goal, said Bloomberg, "is to get as many people as possible back in their homes by the end of the year." The program will be funded mostly by FEMA.

Homeowners can sign up for NYC Rapid Repairs starting Tuesday by going to NYC.gov or by calling 311. They will need a FEMA ID number, which they can get by registering at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.

Homeowners who don't want to use NYC Rapid Repairs are free to get repairs made through their insurance company, FEMA or by using their own contractors.