New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has instructed city officials to waive all Department of Buildings application and permit fees for repair work to buildings damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
“It will ensure that New Yorkers fixing their homes will not have to incur additional expenses, and we are going to do everything we can to help those displaced by Hurricane Sandy rebuild and recover as quickly as possible,” Bloomberg said last week.
Under the plan, buildings with significant structural damage in need of demolition, alterations or reconstruction will have all their repair work fees waived and all fees for electrical and plumbing repair work will be waived for any building damaged by the storm until further notice.
Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri said his crew has been performing rapid assessment inspections of buildings damaged by the storm. Under this process, the agency has inspected approximately 80,000 buildings citywide and these inspected buildings and blocks have been tagged with green, yellow and red placards based on their condition.
“Buildings that qualify as severely structurally damaged are all buildings tagged with red placards as well as those that were issued an immediate emergency declaration, emergency declaration or commissioner’s order.
Fee waivers for these building apply to all demolition applications and permits; alteration 1, 2 and 3 applications and permits to renovate and repair damaged structures; as well as new building applications and permits to rebuild structures that were completely destroyed.
Owners of these buildings can take advantage of the fee waiver,” he said. In addition, all buildings damaged by the storm will also have their application and permit fees for plumbing and electrical repair work waived until further notice.
The department of Buildings has invited all licensed professionals performing repair work to damaged buildings to use the Department’s Hub Self-Service program and electronic filing system to submit repair work applications when applicable.
Launched last month to further streamline and accelerate the construction approval process, Hub Self-Service expanded the NYC Development Hub’s services to allow New York State-licensed professionals to submit plans, pay fees and obtain permits online for professionally-certified alteration 2 and 3 applications - which are small construction projects such as home renovations.
As part of the expansion, all electronic filings, including Electrical Applications and Limited Alteration Applications, are now being coordinated through the Development Hub as well, making it easier and quicker for contractors to begin work.
The City has also launched NYC Rapid Repairs, a new program to send teams of contractors and City inspectors into neighborhoods impacted by Hurricane Sandy and quickly and efficiently make necessary repairs to damaged homes.
Under the typical FEMA process, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to arrange for and carry out the repair work, but this new system will allow repairs to happen more quickly and efficiently.
Homeowners can sign up for NYC Rapid Repairs on www.nyc.gov or by calling 311. Homeowners will need a FEMA ID number, which can be obtained by registering at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362. A copy of the Mayor’s emergency order is available on www.nyc.gov.