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Sandy Recovery Next Steps

 
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DMCKEON
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Joined: Mar 17, 2005
Posts: 22572
Location: Staten Island

PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:31 pm    Post subject: Sandy Recovery Next Steps
From Jul 19, 2013 to Jul 25, 2013 (included)
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Where to Turn
Beacon of Hope NY
Everything Mold Discussion Group


After a very productive meeting with representatives of most of our local officials and the Department of Health we have put together the following plan to address the Mold issue and abandoned houses resulting from Super storm Sandy.

SANDY RECOVERY PLAN
Beacon of Hope NY will continue to collect data on abandoned mold infested homes on Staten Island
Data will also be collected by local officials and civic groups.
Volunteer residents will also canvas their neighborhoods to track the recovery/rebuilding efforts based on the model used by Beacon of Hope New Orleans.
Where to Turn will create a link through which anyone can enter the data and the link will be posted on our websites and Facebook pages.
All data will be compiled into one database
The Department of Health has agreed to send inspectors to properties that we identify to see if they can find reasons to declare them a Health Hazard.
The Department of Health will not declare the existence of mold in the interior of a house a danger to neighboring homes.
The All Things Mold Discussion Group along with Dr. Grant will provide documentation to show the correlation between mold and health issues. We will also request further data that was supplied by Beacon of Hope New Orleans as to the negative impact of mold after Katrina.
The Mayor’s Office will provide us with the addresses of all the red tagged homes and we will inspect those to see how many have been torn down or abandoned.
We will work with our elected officials to obtain the names and contact information of all the property owners
We will offer free mold remediation through the LISC program or Yellow Boots to all and coordinate with those home owners who accept.
With properties where we cannot reach the owners we will attempt to get in touch with the banks or mortgage companies that hold them mortgages and hold them responsible for the upkeep of these properties.
We are looking for assistance from our state elected officials to help us get this data.
J.P Morgan Chase has already offered to work with us on any properties they may own, we hope that other banks follow their lead.
For properties that pose a health or safety threat (our definition not the Health Departments) where we cannot get in touch with the owners we are looking for the city to get us permission to do clean ups.
In the past we were not allowed to do graffiti cleanups without the owner’s permission. The Mayor’s CAU was able to get that policy changed. They sent notices to the property owners informing them that they had 30 days to clean up the graffiti. If they did not clean it up or respond to the notice after 30 days we were permitted to do the cleanup even without the owner’s permission.
We look to the city to institute a similar plan for Sandy impacted abandoned homes. Even if we cannot get inside we would be able to clean up the property to eliminate any safety hazards.
We call on all our local officials to push for the following to aid in the rebuilding process
Remove the SBA clause when calculating a victim’s award as part of the federal package.
Sandy victims were required to apply for SBA loans early on. Even if they were eligible and did not accept the loan the amount they were eligible for is being deducted from their potential award from the Federal program.
We had a similar problem after 9/11 with the Victims Compensation Fund and were able to get the way awards calculated changed. We look to our elected officials to fight for this change.
Victims should not be penalized for rejecting loans that would have put them further in debt.
Secondly we call on the mayor’s office to use a portion of the Federal grant to tear down any red tagged house that is not in dispute.
Many victims were told that this would be done but are now being told that they will be responsible for the cost of the demolition.
With a very tiny percentage of the Federal grant the city will be able to assure that all these houses that were determined to be structurally unsound are torn down properly while not exposing neighbors to any additional health issues which can be caused by improper demolition.
The city should also offer this service to any yellow tagged home where the owner prefers to build from scratch.
We are scheduling a follow up meeting with the representatives of our local officials for next week to track the progress of action items assigned last week.
We will continue to collect data on the dangers of mold and supply it to the Department of Health.
We will continue to work with any civic or community group that wants to become involved.
We will continue to make sure victims are aware that there are programs offering free mold remediation.
We will continue to keep this very serious issue in the public eye through the media and our websites.
We will continue to work with our local elected officials and support their current legislation to support Sandy victims. (including bills introduced by Councilman Oddo in the City Council and Senator Diane Savino in the NYS Assembly)
We will continue to programs such as the Dudley Street Initiative that enabled communities to rebuild after severe natural or economic situations and allowed them to maintain their communities
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Make Where to Turn, Beacon of Hope NY, Your Local Civic or Local elected official aware of any Sandy impacted abandoned homes in your area.
Report any Sandy related health issues to the All Things Mold Discussion Group on Facebook or call Where to Turn or Beacon of Hope NY at the numbers below.
Volunteer to become a canvasser through your local civic or Beacon of Hope NY.
Follow us on our websites or our Facebook pages.

www.where-to-turn
www.beaconofhope.org

Deidre McGrath Beacon of Hope NY 347-934-9726
Scott McGrath Beacon of Hope NY 347-934-9726
Elaine Kelly All Things Mold 347-658-6491
Dennis McKeon Where to Turn 718-966-6531
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