This rapid recovery program is slower than it sounds. The mayor's office sent out information on the program and said that all a homeowner needs to do is fill out some paperwork explaining the damage to their home and the city will get right on it.
Although the way this works is that the homeowner will be contacted within 48 hours of filing the paperwork to set up a time for a free assessment. Following the assessment a work order is created that lay out the specific needs of the repairs, in the opinion of a city official.
After the work order is made, the homeowner will choose to sign up to have the repairs done by a city contractor as “quickly as possible.” They also have the option of paying for a contractor themselves and use FEMA funding, which entails that person filling out more paperwork and waiting on lines again.
As many New Yorkers don't even have running water, heat or electricity, it is difficult to imagine they have time to wait for paperwork to be filed or even the time to fill it out just for an estimate.
One woman who has been without power for over two weeks walked right past the Red Hook NYC Restore center to get to a food truck that was handing out free chicken and french fries. She said that she needs food now and with 48 hours to wait on a claim she simply said paperwork won't feed her child.
The food truck was parked in front of a church, Visitation Parish, located a few blocks from the center. A line had formed for free food at the food truck and another line was for cleaning supplies being handed out by the church. Both lines were longer than those at the new center.
It seems that people would rather clean up their own mess than wait 48 hours to be told how much of that mess the city will clean up.