After a report released by New York Communities for Change showed that a large number of Rockaway residents still have mold or paid out-of-pocket for remediation owing to Hurricane Sandy, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio outlined a plan on Wednesday that would address the public health issue and shift the financial burden to the federal government.
De Blasio, who announced his plan on the steps of City Hall, also criticized Mayor Michael Bloomberg for prematurely championing the successes of the Sandy recovery when there is still work to be done.
“I think [the mold issue] is a symptom of a bigger problem we’ve seen in the administration’s response to Sandy,” de Blasio said. “The administration is too quick to say mission accomplished, too quick to say everything’s under control when in fact for thousands of New Yorkers the crisis continues.”
Under de Blasio’s four-point plan, the city would set up a mold removal program, which would be eligible for FEMA reimbursement. De Blasio also called for a hotline with mold experts as well as expanding home inspections throughout the city. And finally, a health surveillance network would monitor mold-related health problems so the city can better allocate its resources.
“If we do all of these pieces properly, we can arrest this mold problem and stop it dead in its tracks and protect thousands of New Yorkers who are not being protected now,” de Blasio said.