LISC set to deploy new round of Sandy recovery capital

Oct 29, 2013, 13:05 ET from LISC

1,700 homeowners helped in first year after the storm; nearly $30MM more in funds on tap

NEW YORK, Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has deployed nearly $15 million in relief funds to help communities hit hard by Hurricane Sandy and is moving swiftly to allocate another $30 million in the next phase of its storm recovery efforts.

Since January, LISC has primarily focused on mold remediation for nearly 1,700 homes, as well as emergency grants to neighborhood nonprofits helping property owners recover from the storm. Two additional programs focused on repairs for single-family homes and loans for multifamily buildings are ready to launch in the coming weeks.

"We have no illusions about how much work still needs to be done to help our fellow New Yorkers regain a sense of normalcy," said Denise Scott, executive director of LISC's New York City program. "That is particularly true in the disadvantaged neighborhoods where LISC has been working for 30 years. Residents there have little capacity to absorb the kind of economic blow Sandy struck. But they are nevertheless looking forward, and so are we."

LISC is administering repair and recovery programs in partnership with the City of New York, the office of Housing Recovery Operations (HRO), philanthropic groups and community-based organizations in affected neighborhoods. Funders include the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, the Robin Hood Foundation and the American Red Cross.

"We applaud the resiliency of New Yorkers still struggling to recover," Scott said. "With the support of our funders and ongoing efforts of our community partners we are dedicated to providing substantive relief and doing all we can to support a comprehensive recovery."

Efforts are particularly focused on low- and middle-income areas where unemployment and other economic challenges were undermining residents' quality of life long before Sandy hit. LISC's Emergency Relief Fund, for instance, has provided more than $1 million in grants to help community-based organizations hire the staff and access the tools they need to help residents get back on their feet.

Grants thus far are supporting eight groups working in Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Red Hook, Gowanus and Canarsie in Brooklyn; Far Rockaway in Queens; and in various shore communities of Staten Island. They include Astella Development Corporation, Brighton Neighborhood Association, Fifth Avenue Committee, Neighborhood Housing Services of East Flatbush, Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation, Northfield Community Local Development Corporation, AAFE Community Development Fund, MHANY Management Inc. and Zone A New York.

"Local non-profit organizations like LISC play a vital role in long-term disaster recovery, augmenting traditional government programs and helping to reach the most vulnerable populations," said Brad Gair, director of the Mayor's Office of Housing Recovery Operations. "LISC has been a great partner to the City, and their efforts will help ensure that the communities deeply affected by Sandy make a meaningful recovery."

LISC is administering key recovery programs through a special affiliate it created for Sandy relief—Neighborhood Revitalization NYC (NRNYC)—as well as its connection to NYC Build It Back.  Affected residents are urged to apply for help or call to find out if they qualify. Programs include:

NRNYC Mold Treatment Program
Announced by the mayor in January, LISC's NRNYC Mold Treatment Program is assisting 2,000 single-family homeowners with an environmental assessment, mold treatment and a final inspection from an environmental consultant to verify that all work is complete. A video description of the program is available at

To date, it has provided quality mold treatment for 1684 Sandy-affected homes, including 776 in Queens, 622 in Brooklyn, 283 in Staten Island, and three in the Bronx. Homeowners can register for this program by calling 1-855-740-MOLD (6653). The call center operates Monday – Friday, 9am to 6pm, and Saturday, 10am to 2pm.

NRNYC Home Repair Program
The NRNYC Home Repair Program will assist 400-600 single-family homeowners impacted by Hurricane Sandy with repairs. It will focus on low-income residents who do not qualify for full or partial federal funding from the NYC Build It Back program. There is no cost to the homeowner.  Build It Back will refer participants, and applications are being accepted now. Call 311 for more information. The program was developed in partnership with the City of New York.

Build It Back Multifamily Loan Program
LISC is working closely with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development to assist owners of residential multifamily buildings (five or more units) damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The LISC Multifamily Loan Program will help restore co-op, condo and rental units and improve the resiliency of buildings against future storms. This initiative is funded through the federal Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) program. It will offer evaporating loans—meaning zero payments and zero interest for property owners that meet all the requirements—to cover construction costs. Property owners can register for this program by contacting 311.

About LISC New York City
LISC New York City is dedicated to helping low-income New York City neighborhoods become healthy communities of choice – good places to live, do business, work and raise families. LISC has thirty years of experience developing the infrastructure of community-based organizations by providing technical and financial assistance; building capacity of local institutions to respond to changing community needs; sharing best practices to maximize precious resources; and brokering collaboration among its vast network of partners—government, nonprofit, and corporate—to tackle issues on the community level. Over the last 30 years, LISC New York City has invested approximately $2.0 billion in more than 75 New York City community development corporations (CDCs) and other local groups. With our support, these organizations have developed over 33,000 affordable homes and apartments and more than 2 million sq. ft. of commercial space.

Nick Charles, LISC NYC
212-455-9307 or