NY Mayor Michael R. BloombergNEW YORK CITY, N.Y. /New York Netwire/ — NY Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today signed an emergency order to waive all Department of Buildings application and permit fees for repair work to buildings damaged by Hurricane Sandy. To help New Yorkers affected by the storm, buildings with significant structural damage in need of demolition, alterations or reconstruction will have all their repair work fees waived and all fees for electrical and plumbing repair work will be waived for any building damaged by the storm until further notice. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Department of Buildings has been performing rapid assessment inspections of buildings damaged by the storm. Under this process, the agency has inspected approximately 80,000 buildings citywide and these inspected buildings and blocks have been tagged with green, yellow and red placards based on their condition.

“As the City continues its recovery and assistance operations to help New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy, we are waiving application and permit fees for repairs to buildings that were damaged,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “It will ensure that New Yorkers fixing their homes will not have to incur additional expenses, and we are going to do everything we can to help those displaced by Hurricane Sandy rebuild and recover as quickly as possible.”

“In the wake of this devastating storm, it is our responsibility to help New Yorkers get back on their feet as quickly as possible,” said Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri. “Our goal in waiving these fees is to make it easier for New Yorkers to rebuild their lives and their homes, removing a big burden off their shoulders. We are committed to assisting the City in its unprecedented recovery efforts, and we will continue to identify ways to help New Yorkers.”

Application and permit fees for Hurricane Sandy repair work will be waived as part of the Department of Buildings’ continued efforts to assist New Yorkers after the storm. Buildings that qualify as severely structurally damaged are all buildings tagged with red placards as well as those that were issued an immediate emergency declaration, emergency declaration or commissioner’s order. Fee waivers for these building apply to all demolition applications and permits; alteration 1, 2 and 3 applications and permits to renovate and repair damaged structures; as well as new building applications and permits to rebuild structures that were completely destroyed. Owners of these buildings can take advantage of the fee waiver. In addition, all buildings damaged by the storm will also have their application and permit fees for plumbing and electrical repair work waived until further notice.

The Department of Buildings is encouraging all licensed professionals performing repair work to damaged buildings to use the Department’s Hub Self-Service program and electronic filing system to submit repair work applications when applicable. Launched last month to further streamline and accelerate the construction approval process, Hub Self-Service expanded the NYC Development Hub’s services to allow New York State-licensed professionals to submit plans, pay fees and obtain permits online for professionally-certified alteration 2 and 3 applications – which are small construction projects such as home renovations. As part of the expansion, all electronic filings, including Electrical Applications and Limited Alteration Applications, are now being coordinated through the Development Hub as well, making it easier and quicker for contractors to begin work.

To electronically file a fee-exempt application, applicants must prepare the application normally and check the fee exempt box after entering the work cost information to waive the application and permit fees. Based on the application type, the damage checkbox will be located in different sections as indicated below:

Plan Work Form (PW1): The fee exempt box for demolitions, alterations and new buildings is located in the Work Types section under the subsection Cost Information under the question ‘What Types of Fees Apply to this Application.’

Limited Alteration Applications (LAA): The fee exempt box for minor plumbing work and limited alterations is located in the Additional Information section.

Electrical Applications: The fee exempt box for electrical applications is located in the Category Work Section. In this section, applicants should check the Hurricane Sandy Damage box.
Since Hurricane Sandy’s arrival last week, teams of Department inspectors, engineers and architects have canvassed the City and performed rapid assessment inspections of approximately 80,000 buildings damaged by the storm. All inspected buildings and blocks have been tagged with green, yellow and red placards based on their condition. This is part of the Department’s rapid assessment process to conduct as many initial inspections as quickly as possible and provide New Yorkers with information on the status of their buildings. The different colored placards mean:

Green: There are no restrictions. No apparent structural hazards were found, but other issues such as flooding may exist.

Yellow: There are restrictions. The property is damaged; entry limitations are specified on each posting.

Red: The building is unsafe. Property is seriously damaged and is unsafe to enter or occupy. A red placard is not an order to demolish.
To further help owners whose buildings were damaged by the storm, the Department of Buildings has created a series of guides and handouts on how homeowners can get back into their homes and helpful information for licensed professionals performing storm repair work. These guides and handouts along with more information on the fee waiver for damaged buildings can be found online at www.nyc.gov.

The City has also launched NYC Rapid Repairs, a new program to send teams of contractors and City inspectors into neighborhoods impacted by Hurricane Sandy and quickly and efficiently make necessary repairs to damaged homes. Under the typical FEMA process, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to arrange for and carry out the repair work, but this new system will allow repairs to happen more quickly and efficiently. Beginning Tuesday, homeowners can sign up for NYC Rapid Repairs on www.nyc.gov or by calling 311. Homeowners will need a FEMA ID number, which can be obtained by registering at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.

A copy of the Mayor’s emergency order is available on www.nyc.gov.