Nassau County Legislator Steven D. Rhoads held a press conference yesterday along with Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino urging Governor Cuomo to extend the March 1st and September 1st NY deadlines for home elevations that were announced by NY Rising in December 2016.
Rhoads explained that “NY Rising is supposed to be helping people overcome roadblocks and put their lives back together” but fears that these deadlines will cause people to be forced to walk away from their homes.
Currently, as of March 1st, 2017, all scope of work change requests (6100 forms) must be submitted. As of September 1st, 2017, all homes must pass interim inspections showing evidence of progress such as being “in the air” or risk having to repay their grant award.
The 4 major problems with these deadlines according to Legislator Rhoads are that:
1. Many homeowners haven’t had the money approved yet.
2. Because all of their needs are not being met, homeowners in the program need to accumulate additional money to fund those unmet needs.
3. Permits are taking a very long time to be reviewed and issued.
4. There are not enough qualified contractors to meet the volume of work that needs to be done.
Rhoads explained how elevating a house which has settled over the years and subsequently putting it back down on a level foundation can result in stress cracks, copper piping breaking, and other unanticipated costs. These costs resulted in change orders.
Ben Jackson, co-owner of Ben’s General Contracting Corp. spoke at the conference explaining how neither contractors nor homeowners like change orders because they cause delays and cost the homeowner additional money.
Saladino further explained how the Town of Oyster Bay had hired more inspectors due to the High volume of Sandy rebuilds. He and Rhoads urged residents to make their voices heard by contacting Governor Cuomo and asking him for an extension of these NY Rising deadlines at 518-474-8390 or governor.ny.gov.