The NY Rising Housing Recovery Program was developed to facilitate home repairs, rehabilitation, mitigation, and elevation for the owners of storm-damaged properties on Long Island and in the New York upstate region affected by Superstorm Sandy, Tropical Storm Lee, and Hurricane Irene. LiRo provided oversight and coordination of program and construction management to ensure the program policies were established and implemented efficiently, cost-effectively, and in compliance with all governing regulations.
About the Project
More than 100,000 homes were damaged on Long Island and in upstate communities by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee. In 2013, New York State received an initial $1.7 billion allocation of the total $5.4 billion in federal funding to assist northeastern states with disaster recovery efforts in areas that had received Presidential Disaster Declarations.
NY Rising was then created and administered by the New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) agency in coordination with the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) to distribute these Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Social Service Block Grant (SSBG) from NY State.
Project Challenges & Solutions
Close coordination with GOSR was required to create an infrastructure that could effectively handle the huge number and variety of properties that needed assistance. LiRo worked with GOSR to set program priorities, identify internal and external resources, and create a daily policy meeting that led to this framework. This resulted in productive decision making for the single family, rental properties, condos/ co-ops, buyouts and acquisitions, and small business properties programs.
As Master Program Manager, LiRo also needed to establish early procedures for training of all staff for program compliance, contract management, and HUD and NY State compliance, including tracking of costs per project. LiRo managed the assessments for 19,000 applicants, generating damage and mitigation awards in excess of $2.3 billion. Assessments included work completed, work to be performed, elevations, and bulkhead damages.
In addition, guidelines and standards had to be developed in order to meet HUD standards. LiRo met with applicants for check distribution and signing the final grant agreements and also managed the Interim Mortgage Assistance (IMA) program, performed quality assurance checks, task-order preparation, bid and award, financial management, M/WBE compliance, and work-order issuance for the GOSR Construction Program.
LiRo’s IT team developed a software platform, LiRo Recovery Manager (LRM), that is instrumental in managing vast amounts of data that is uploaded daily to IntelliGrants, the program’s repository for all documents of record. LiRo performed design review and management of designers, Bid and Award for the design, construction and environmental programs, bond and insurance review, work order issuance, change order and invoice review, and quality assurance on the GOSR Construction program.
LiRo dedicated a huge amount of time and resources to this large and complicated project, including:
- Performing and managing in excess of 35,000 lead, asbestos, and radon environmental inspections.
- Establishing and operating a 25-person call center six days per week to assist applicants and design professionals with the current status of files and current policies.
- Managing and preparing clarifications/change orders.
- Creating a workflow management and IT data warehouse system for tracking records of appointments, inspections, environmental inspections, award calculations, and quality assurance of multiple programs.