Superstorm Sandy-Affected Residential Community Recovery Build It Back Program

An Innovative Program to Return Families to Their Homes


New York City, NY


New York City Department of Design & Construction

Project Cost

$363 million


The NYC Build It Back Program, managed by the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery (HRO), provided Federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) funding to Sandy-impacted homeowners across the five boroughs for permanent repairs and resilient measures, including home elevations or full reconstruction with elevation. This Agreement was procured by the City and funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), under the CDBG-DR Program.

About the Project

LiRo provided program management, design, and contracting services to assist homeowners and landlords to reconstruct their Sandy-damaged homes for this high-profile program. Under this CM/Design/Build contract administered by the NYCDDC, LiRo was responsible for directing a team of design professionals to assess properties and develop construction documents for rehabilitation work, and to coordinate multiple contractors to make repairs and rebuild properties. Our team solved critical program issues including an aggressive time frame, compliance with local and federal regulations, and the technical challenges of rebuilding to provide resilience against future storm events.

Project Challenges & Solutions

More than 15,000 homeowners across Sandy-impacted Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island applied to the Program. Approximately 10,000 homes required moderate rehabilitation, 4,000 homes required elevation, and 500 homes required complete rebuilds. Amongst these neighborhoods were blocks of homes with serious design and infrastructure constraints, which required innovative urban design approaches for achieving a more cohesive neighborhood scale design by working with groups of homeowners linked by common architectural or structural features.


In addition to rebuilding and returning residents to their homes, the Build It Back program has also helped make vulnerable neighborhoods more resilient to future storms and flooding by elevating “substantially damaged” homes.


Program & Construction Management
Disaster Preparedness & Response Services


Disaster Recovery