Hurricane Sandy destroyed and damaged thousands of residences including multi-unit buildings. Many of these buildings were uninsured, making it difficult for building owners to rebuild, let alone consider integrating more sustainable and resilient building systems in the reconstruction process. Architecture for Humanity’s survey of several damaged neighborhoods revealed that many of the building owners are not professional developers. They are small “mom & pop” landlords whose buildings serve the rental market. The destruction of “mom & pop” buildings displaced tenants and landlords, impacting the lives and livelihoods of both.
These small-scale landlords are under pressure to repair their buildings as quickly and cost effectively as possible. Rent interruptions caused by the disaster, have worsened capital constraints and negatively impacted their credit. As a result, there is little incentive for landlords to allocate the extra time and up-front costs required to explore more resilient and more sustainable alternatives. In addition, they are at risk of being targeted by fraudulent contractors.
This program will act as a catalyst for sustainable reconstruction and recovery. Architecture for Humanity proposes providing a combination of grants and technical assistance to targeted landlords in the affected areas of New York to encourage these landlords to adopt more resilient and sustainable building systems.