Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Disaster relief

RSS By: Pastor Craig Miller

Disaster relief coordinator Pastor Craig Miller shares disaster relief information in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Weathering the Storm

Jun 12, 2014

"The City’s response to Hurricane Sandy was slow and communication to residents before, during and after the storm was inadequate."

 

This spring, a collaborative effort among several organizations concerned with the effects of Sandy on their communities issued a report entitled Weathering the Storm, focused on the impact of the storm on New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents. According to the report, the storm aggravated already poor conditions in New York City Housing Authority buildings. The report points out that delayed maintenance in buildings, poor communications between NYCHA and residents and with the city’s Office of Emergency Management, and an ongoing mold problem were exacerbated after Sandy washed through over 400 buildings in the boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan.

 

In many buildings, residents went without heat and hot water for weeks before temporary boilers were installed. Those boilers remain in place today and have proven to be unreliable, leaving residents uncertain whether they will have heat on cold days or hot water. The report states that NYCHA administrators knew of the vulnerability of their properties but failed to implement measures to protect services. The housing system suffers from chronic underfunding for maintenance and upgrades.

 

In many NYCHA houses, community centers served as rescue and relief centers for residents and community members. Because of past deficits in NYCHA budgets many of these community centers have closed. It took local community and faith based organizations to open the centers for relief. These same centers continue to be threatened by lack of funding. The 2014 deficit for NYCHA stands at $78,000,000.

 

Participants in the report include, The Alliance for a Just Rebuilding, ALIGN, Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center, Community Voices Heard, Faith in New York, Families United for Racial and Economic Equality, Good Old Lower East Side, Red Hook Initiative and New York Communities for Change.

 
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