The Office of Resilient Homes and Communities strives to address communities’ most urgent needs, while also encouraging the identification of innovative and enduring solutions to strengthen the State’s infrastructure and critical systems. The office utilizes approximately $4.4 billion in flexible funding made available by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program to concentrate aid to four main areas. Paired with additional federal funding that has been awarded to other State agencies, the CDBG-DR program is enabling homeowners, small businesses and entire communities to build back even better than before. And in a State already known for its great resiliency and can-do spirit, the efforts are paving the way for a tremendous comeback– one that will reinvigorate New York and better prepare it for future extreme weather events that come its way.
In June 2014, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) announced the winners of its innovative Rebuild By Design competition− a contest that encouraged interdisciplinary firms (representing the best in planning, design and engineering) to create blueprints for recovery and resiliency efforts. Initiated by the Presidential Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, and promoting the innovative principles developed by the group in the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy, the contest recognized four outstanding project proposals from New York State. In partnership with the winning firms, we are now working to implement two of these groundbreaking projects: Living with the Bay and Living Breakwaters.
Living with the Bay
Based in Nassau County, Long Island, the $125 million Living with the Bay project aims to increase the resiliency of communities along the Mill River and around the South Shore’s bays by mitigating damage from storm surges; managing stormwater to mitigate damages from common rain events; improving habitat and water quality; and increasing access to the Mill River through both educational and increased recreational opportunities.
Living Breakwaters is an innovative coastal green infrastructure project designed to reduce or reverse erosion and damage from storm waves, improve the ecosystem health of the Raritan Bay and encourage stewardship of our nearshore waters and generally enhance people’s experience of the shoreline of southern Staten Island. The project was initially developed by SCAPE Landscape Architecture for the Rebuild by Design (RBD) Competition, a design competition held by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to seek cutting edge ideas for coastal resilience in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. We are implementing the project, which is funded by HUD through the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding as well as with funds from New York State.