EDGEMERE — Officials broke ground Friday on a $67 million federal project that will improve and strengthen the Ocean Bay houses.
It's the first of 33 NYCHA facilities that will get major repairs and upgrades using $3 billion in federal dollars doled out after Hurricane Sandy, officials said.
Sen. Charles Schumer, who was at Friday's groundbreaking, said it's "terrific news for the hundreds of families who can now rest assured they will soon be better protected in the event of a future storm."
The $67 million will fully replace the roof on each of the seven buildings inside the complex, provide standby generators if the power goes out, upgrade playgrounds and other recreational areas and add new lighting and security cameras, according to officials.
The buildings will also be outfitted with new electrical and flood protection measures.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city had already made some improvements at NYCHA facilities but this will help strengthen them.
“We have thus far made much progress — from increasing the amount of elevated boilers and standby generators to flood protection — this additional investment will go a long way for NYCHA residents thanks to a strong federal and municipal partnership," he said.
The investment will protect the 400 families living in the complex — who have waited nearly four years for better protection, according to Councilman Donovan Richards.
“While the city and the state have been trying to put the pieces back together in a better fashion than before, we always knew that without the help of FEMA, NYCHA could not accomplish its goals," he said
Other FEMA-funded projects include a new sustainable power and heat system at the Red Hook houses, which was also hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.