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Sandy-Battered Red Hook Houses Will Get FEMA Funding

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A major public housing complex in a waterfront Brooklyn neighborhood left powerless after Hurricane Sandy will be getting some much-needed improvements, thanks to funding from the feds. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has allocated over $438 million for repairs to the both the Red Hook East and Red Hook West complexes, DNAinfo reported. It's been about three-and-a-half years since Sandy hit, but there is still much work to be done.

The work will be done via the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) recovery program and includes new backup power plants and power distribution pods, all of which will be raised high enough to accommodate retail below their mechanical elements. Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF) is designing those structures. The complex was left without power or heat for weeks after the storm, and without water for days, according to the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Plan.

Other repairs discussed at a community forum on Monday included playgrounds, sidewalks, and roofs, plus lobby floors and hardware and stairwell lighting. The complex, with its 2,878 apartments, houses 8,000 of the approximately 11,000 people in Red Hook. Some residents want more of a focus on the individual apartments that suffered damage. "Sandy happened a long time ago but for us it was like yesterday," said 35-year-old Misha Johnson.

A July audit by Comptroller Scott Stringer found that NYCHA has a 55,000-work order backlog and that the agency often just closes out what it deemed non-emergency work orders if the tenant isn't at home when workers showed up.

None of these plans are finalized, according to NYCHA, and will be re-worked to incorporate community feedback. KPF principal Jill Lerner said their designs will be finalized in the fall. DNAinfo also reported that an integrated flood protection system is in the works for the neighborhood as a whole.
· $438M in FEMA Funds May Build Power Plants at Red Hook Houses [DNAinfo]
· All Hurricane Sandy coverage [Curbed]