The city’s troubled Build It Back program—designed to repair thousands of homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy—will officially not be completed by the end of the year, reports DNAInfo, citing a new report from the mayor.
“Last year, we had hoped to complete all single-family Build it Back homes by the end of 2016,” reads the mayor’s forward the 27-page report. “We will fall short of that goal, for which my team and I take personal responsibility.”
When de Blasio took over Build It Back from the Bloomberg administration, the plan was to spend an estimated $1.85 billion to repair and rebuild 15,345 single-family homes. But during his first year in office not much happened.
In 2015, the city overhauled the program, ultimately promising to have the project totally finished by the end of 2016. From the beginning, people associated with the program doubted that timeline was actually possible, but the city maintained the work would be done by December. Now, with December only a month and change away, the work is not done, thanks to architectural challenges, staffing shortages, and what de Blasio calls a “tangle of bureaucracy.”
Despite residents’ deep frustrations with the project—and missing its self-imposed deadline—the report suggests substantial progress has been made: as of today, 84 percent of homeowners across the entire program have seen either a check or construction. By the end of the year, that number will be more like 90 percent, the report says.
The stats for multi-family buildings are substantially bleaker: of the 242 applicants, eight percent have started construction, and a mere one percent have been completed.
DNAInfo notes that the update “comes just hours before the City Council is set to hold a Thursday oversight meeting on Build It Back’s finances after the city added $500 million in federal dollars to the program.”