Great news from the Mayor’s office

Mayor Bloomberg announced today a mold remediation program that will provide free mold clean-up for nearly 2,000 of NYC’s hardest hit homes following Hurricane Sandy. This is welcome news for people who are unable to live in their mold-infested homes – and for those who are risking their health by doing so. With private insurers dithering about claims, and FEMA often low-balling its financial assistance, too many of those affected by Sandy feel justifiably abandoned. Into the fray steps the Mayor, in collaboration with the Robin Hood Foundation and the American Red Cross, with a $15 million remediation life line. The program is to be administered through The Neighborhood Revitalization NYC, which is an affiliate of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a community development not-for-profit corporation with 30 years of experience working in New York City.

This kind of aggressive action on the part of the City is to be applauded. As we saw in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the warm summer temperatures quickly created a serious mold health threat that went unaddressed by local officials. By acting now, before the seasons change, the Mayor is helping to minimize a future crisis. The long-term health effects of the storm are becoming more apparent every day. One NYLAG client, who along with her daughter and baby grandson evacuated their Rockaway Beach apartment before the storm, is still living in temporary housing waiting for remediation work to begin. She and the baby have both been made ill by the mold; the baby coughs whenever they return and our client may have bronchitis. This is a story we see repeatedly in clients from Staten Island, Coney Island, Long Island and other impacted communities. I thank the Mayor’s office and its partners for stepping up and taking action.

Click Here to read the Mayor’s announcement.

Blog Post by Yisroel Schulman
President & Attorney-in-Charge

2 thoughts on “Great news from the Mayor’s office

  1. It’s a great start. But $15 million for 2,000 homes is just the tip of the iceberg. It could be an order of magnitude more ($150 million) or two orders of magnitude ($1.5 billion) to truly get the mold issue under control up-and-down the New York and New Jersey coasts.

    A comprehensive program would not just cherry-pick homes that are already under case management. The current plan, given it’s fiscal limitations and narrow scope, is not allowed to be applied for by a typical homeowner — you are chosen by the city.

    This is a good start. It should be applauded. But we need to bring in more resources to truly combat mold. It should also afford free atmospheric mold testing and water content testing to allow families to know whether their homes are A-OK to start rebuilding. Because right now, way too many desperate home owners are slapping up sheetrock, and will, come spring, start having blooms of mold up and down the interiors of their walls and crawlspaces.

    So, yes, kudos to the city for offering this. Now it’s time to scale it 10x to 100x more.

    Peter Corless
    Rockways Hurricane Sandy
    facebook.com/groups/RockawaysHurricaneSandy
    #RockawaysHurricaneSandy

    Walk a Mile in Our Shoes for Hurricane Relief
    facebook.com/SandyWalkAMile #SandyWalkaMile

  2. Thank you for your comment, Peter. You are of course right that while this is a great step, the program cannot begin to address the enormity of the need. As we have seen in the past, with Hurricanes Irene, Katrina and others, the rebuilding process after a disaster of this magnitude is highly complex. Many solutions will need to be brought to bear to address post-Sandy issues, such as mold.

    At the same time, we need to take steps now that can help mitigate the devastation caused by future storms, such as Governor Cuomo’s proposal, announced this morning, to buy back homes in flood zones across the coast, pricing the effort at $400 million (see: http://goo.gl/mPrao) and another from New York City hospitals proposing costly plans to prevent damage to critical infrastructure, (see http://on.wsj.com/11k1XLe.)

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