Last week, Mayor de Blasio broke ground on a new, $67 million reconstruction housing project in the Rockaways. The Ocean Bay-Oceanside Housing Authority development, which is part of the FEMA-funded $3 billion Sandy recovery plan, is the first of 33 major public housing resiliency projects designed to rebuild and strengthen the city’s infrastructure against future superstorms.

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The whopping $67 million federal investment will be used to equip the developments with stand-by generators, elevated boilers, new electrical systems, and other storm-resilient features that will aid in resident safety in the case of severe storms.

Related: Could This Sunken Forest Protect the Rockaways from the Next Superstorm?

Mayor de Blasio was joined at the groundbreaking ceremony by U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, Congressman Gregory W. Meeks and New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “Many of us still remember the weeks of cold and darkness after Sandy – including thousands of NYCHA residents. People across all five boroughs are still feeling the impact today. However, with this $67 million investment, we will continue to fortify NYCHA buildings and create a more resilient City and so that residents never have to go through this again,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We have thus far made much progress – from increasing the amount of elevated boilers and standby generators to flood protection – this additional investment will go a long way for NYCHA residents thanks to a strong federal and municipal partnership. I want to thank Senator Schumer for his continued leadership and partnership as we build a stronger, more resilient New York, and to FEMA for these vital funds.”

The Rockaways development is one of 33 public housing recovery-and-resiliency projects funded by FEMA grants as part of the Sandy Relief Bill passed in Congress in 2013.

Lead photo via dakine kane