Following demands from local pols in just about all of the communities hard hit by Superstorm Sandy, New York City has decided to extend the application period for its innovative Rapid Repairs program until Monday, January 14.
The program, originally slated to cease accepting applications on December 31, will now be open for an additional two weeks, allowing more time to apply for those overwhelmed with immediate recovery needs to get to the forms.
There is a caveat, though: the program will no longer accept online or telephone applications. Residents seeking to apply must do so in-person at a Disaster Recovery Center like the one that opened today at 3076 Emmons Avenue.
The reason for the in-person registration is that the city requires all applicants to sign a “Right of Entry” form before they visit the home. These forms are now the first step in the process, and the in-person requirement will hopefully speed up repair work.
Rapid Repairs connects residents with registered contractors, and funnels FEMA funds directly to the work – allowing repairs to be done more quickly, and without any out-of-pocket payment by the resident. The repairs are limited to restoring essential services like heat, hot water and power, and also providing the bare minimum to live safely in the dwelling.