In a sign that his administration meant business, the city moved roughly 150 families in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island out of their homes in the weeks before the Oct. 29 anniversary so the homes could be elevated. City contractors put up fences around the houses in preparation for expedited work.
But most of those homes have since sat untouched for months, according to homeowners and sources involved in the Build It Back program.
“We forced people out of their homes just to get fences up and make it look like there was construction going on,” one source within the program said last month. “We were not even close. Only now is construction beginning. It was all a lie.”
The source and others said the mayor’s push last fall was all about optics and boosting Build It Back’s numbers — even though, at the time, the city hadn’t approved permits for the work and its contractors weren’t ready.
Homeowners who were moved out told DNAinfo New York that the Build It Back program hasn’t improved under de Blasio. Many said they had difficulty getting in touch with program representatives. Others said they waited months to be reimbursed for rent while they were out of their homes.