When Superstorm Sandy made landfall in our region in late 2012, CDCLI was uniquely positioned to provide disaster recovery services. In response to one of the most destructive hurricanes in our nation’s history, CDCLI’s Sandy Housing Recovery Program (SHRP) provided essential services to storm-impacted Long Islanders who were engaged in rebuilding, reconstruction, and resiliency measures. Our resources and flexibility allowed us to quickly respond, enabling us to fill the gaps between other existing programs, thus improving client outcomes. Funding from our partners was vital in supporting ongoing case management focused on providing support to survivors in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Sandy case managers forged strong relationships with recovery agencies in impacted communities, ensuring an accurate understanding of each community’s unique recovery needs.
SHRP closed on August 28, 2015 after all grant funds were expended. The program assisted 534 clients with case management and referrals, including:
- Assistance with the New York Rising Program application process
- Referrals to wrap-around services, such as legal assistance, replacement contents and appliances, and volunteer rebuilding services
- Referrals to other CDCLI programs, including financial counseling; dispute resolution with insurance and mortgage companies; and assistance in making repairs, addressing safety concerns in the home, and weatherizing homes for greater energy efficiency
- Completing mold remediation and muck-outs
CDCLI also developed a unique bridge loan product in response to the New York Rising payment schedule, which awards homeowners 50% of their funds up front and 50% upon full project completion. Most families do not have the financial resources to fund these costly projects. CDCLI’s New York Rising Bridge Loan enabled struggling homeowners to complete their rebuilds and protect their homes from future storm damage.
Further, SHRP provided support and case management services on the Shinnecock Indian Nation in Southampton. CDCLI guided the Nation’s housing department in building their capacity, while allowing SHRP staff to work collaboratively with Sandy affected homeowners as they made strides in rebuilding. Through this partnership, 23 homes on the Nation completed New York Rising applications to receive funds to rebuild. SHRP coordinated with disaster volunteers to provide free rebuild and repair for some of the most vulnerable families on the Nation.
SHRP yielded impressive results, successfully engaging homeowners and community based organizations that strive to strengthen the resiliency of Long Island communities. The program’s impact is clear in the lives of the families who were able to complete muck outs, mold remediation, and finance rebuilds. These homes are now safer, more secure, and more resilient to future storms.
CDCLI is an active member of the Long Island Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (LIVOAD) and its Long Term Recovery Group. We are ready to provide housing services to Long Island residents in the event of a future disaster.