In Gerritsen Beach, Residents Await Post-Sandy Assistance
(Sound: Shower Curtain sliding back)
PRATT 1: After the storm Sal Caruso’s house had to be gutted.
Mold. Yeah it’s mold. Pretty much as you see it’s all over the bathrooms. Cracks..(Fade out) (0:10)
When the flood hit three feet of salt water filled his home. When it receded, his family used FEMA money, and their savings, to fix it. Then the mold showed up. And then their house started caving in.
As you seen the roof. You put your hand. and the whole thing goes up and down. Everything is detaching. (ME: Oh wow).
PRATT 3: The floor sinks in deep in the living room. Sal says he’s told Build It Back about many times. That’s city agency post-Sandy to repair homes and then- lift them up, a whole floor, so future floods won’t cause damage.
They come they acknowledge the fact of what they see. And the people that come are nice. They know it’s an emergency. And they call it in they make you feel good. And then it just gets forgotten (0:11)
PRATT 4: His wife, Natalie Caruso has had enough. She says the mold has is making her son sick. And their move out-date keeps changing. So most of their belongings are stuck in boxes they can’t unpack. She was one of hundreds of residents at a Gerritsen Beach town hall last night. Hundreds who say they are overdue for Build it Back repairs.
I’ve lost maybe four weeks worth of work. OK? So I had to use my own vacation, all this time to set up meetings with them. That they didn’t show. or Didnt’ have the right paperwork. Or you brought the paperwork and then they lost the paperwork by the next day when you called up.
PRATT 5: When Sandy hit, State Senator Martin Golden came to Gerritsen Beach and *still hasn’t left. He’s the one holding these town halls
GOLDEN 1: We have a lot of work to do here, A lot of frustration here. and people have run out of patience and want to get back in their homes. They’re paying mortgages and their paying rent.
PRATT 6: And resident say they can’t afford to keep paying both. A who’s who of city and government agencies joined Golden last night. Housing Preservation, Housing and Urban Development, the parks department and more. But the brunt of the complaints about – miscommunication, lost documents and incomplete repairs – were aimed at Build it Back. Amy Peterson, the director, seemed to take it all in stride.
Well, it’s really exciting. it’s tough for everyone who’s been going through this process for a long time. But we’ve set this goal of finishing this program. By the end of this year. We’ve got 36 up in the air in garritson beach. Everyone’s starting to see progress, have questions about their design and construction. And we’re here to answer their questions to make sure every is moving forward (:21)
Pratt 7: But resident at the town hall are frustrated. Peterson says, this is a hard program to run.
No city, no one has ever tried to actually um. rebuild 6000 single family homes in one municipality.
PRATT 8: Jeanne Costello says *her family been stuck itoo long, waiting to go home to a house that was supposed to be a 94 day fix.
And when this opportunity came up- we figured it’s a no-brainer. We’re gonna get a grant, We’re gonna elevate the house. And we were lead to Beleive that it was a painless process and that the house would be lifted there wouldn’t be much damage. after 6 months of construction. Every wall was cracked, every sealing was cracked. The floor was cracked. so basically we had to redo the entire house again (:25)
Pratt 9: This morning, she stand out front her house waiting on a final inspection so her family can move back in. Things don’t look good. The house is not up to code because of a plumbing issue. The inspector offers advice and says it may be a quick fix. She called Build It Back, who say they hope to get to it today.
Tyler Pratt, Columbia Radio News.