On Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law a bill introduced by Council Member Mark Treyger that is intended to cut through the red tape of bureaucracy and accelerate the Build it Back program.
Treyger, who is also the chair or City Council’s Committee on Recovery and Resiliency, had conceived of the bill, Intro. 1341, partly in critique of the strictly enforced deadlines de Blasio set at the beginning of the summer to ensure his goal of completing the Sandy-recovery initiative by the end of 2016.
“I am deeply troubled by the message that this policy shift sends: that there is an internal prioritization of meeting an ambitious completion goal over actually serving the people who have been waiting patiently for Build It Back to rebuild their homes,” wrote Treyger in a letter to the mayor and Office of Housing Recovery director Amy Peterson in August.
The new bill benefits both Treyger and de Blasio by expediting the program through increased efficiency without leaving behind those who can’t make it through the bureaucratic tape in time.
Specifically, the bill benefits homeowners getting lost in the red tape of the program in two ways.
1. It speeds up the demolition process by allowing paperwork to be finished after the home is demolished, as long as the work is supervised by a legal professional.
2. It speeds up the construction process by allowing construction permits to be issued on properties that have pre-existing building code violations and pre-existing work permits that have not been signed off by the Department of Buildings.
See the City of New York’s website for the full press release.