It’s been five years since Superstorm Sandy ravaged the city, and on Tuesday, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) broke ground on a $63 million project to replace all 28 roofs at Red Hook Houses.
The roof repairs are just the beginning of an almost $550 million investment in Red Hook Houses to harden the housing project against future catastrophes, part of NYCHA’s Sandy Recovery to Resiliency program. The program will repair and replace important infrastructure, flood-proof the structures and install standby backup power generators, among other repairs.
As this summer’s hurricanes pile up in the Atlantic Ocean to the south, eyes are on projects like this, which aim to transform vulnerable locations into resilient sites.
Red Hook Houses complex is Brooklyn’s largest housing project, serving more than 6,000 people. The project was devastated by Sandy in 2012, leaving residents without power and fresh water for months and causing leaks, which led to mold so persistent that many residents are still suffering from health issues associated with it.
On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez,, Councilmember Carlos Menchaca and Assemblymember Felix Ortiz joined NYCHA CEO Shola Olatoye, Red Hook West Resident Association President Lillian Marshall, Red Hook East Resident Association President Frances Brown and other residents in a ceremony marking the kickoff of the roof work.
The overall project will include new electrical rooms to be above the Design Flood Elevation (DFE), a new building to house boiler equipment above DFE, the installation of standby generators, flood proofing above DFE, restoration of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, and more. Damaged playgrounds and the senior center will also be repaired.
As an added benefit, the project will create new jobs for residents, NYCHA said in a release.
Over the past year, NYCHA began similar recovery work at Coney Island Houses and in the Rockaways.