Launches Mount Vernon Healthy Homes Program and Follows Commitment to Help Residents Impacted by Water Infrastructure Crisis
Complements New York State's Historic $150 Million Investment to Address Mount Vernon's Decaying Water Infrastructure
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the opening of the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery's Mount Vernon Healthy Homes pilot program. To kick off the $3 million program, which complements New York State's historic $150 million investment to address longstanding water infrastructure and related public health challenges in this community, officials gathered for an informational session and application Q&A with impacted residents. At the session, residents learned how to apply for the $3 million housing remediation and resiliency pilot program.
"After decades of water and sewer infrastructure challenges in Mount Vernon stemming from longstanding systemic housing inequities, New York is taking bold action," Governor Hochul said. "This $3 million program complements our historic $150 million investment in Mount Vernon's water infrastructure, and we remain committed to working with our partners in the City of Mount Vernon to combat these challenges and strengthen our communities."
"Access to fresh drinking water and appropriate sewer disposal is critical and New York's focus on this issue will help provide our state's residents who live in areas like Mount Vernon that currently suffer from water quality impairments with clean water," said Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado. "By providing homeowners with assistance through the housing remediation and resiliency pilot program to replace failing septic systems and make needed upgrades to mitigate water quality impairments, we are not only protecting public health but also improving the environment."
Governor's Office of Storm Recovery Executive Director Katie Brennan said, "All New Yorkers deserve to live with dignity. GOSR's Mount Vernon pilot program is an immediate step to begin to address the impacts of long-standing sewer issues and lead exposure within homes in the community. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Mayor Patterson-Howard to make homes in Mount Vernon safer and more resilient."
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "For far too long, the residents of Mount Vernon have dealt with a water infrastructure crisis and the health challenges it brings. Today we are delivering on the Governor's commitment to invest in the Mt. Vernon's water infrastructure by making funding available to start the rebuilding process and helping the residents most in need. We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with the City of Mt. Vernon and the community to provide the resources needed to fix the water infrastructure issues residents have been dealing with once and for all."
Environmental Facilities Corporation President and CEO Maureen Coleman said, “Today’s announcement demonstrates the positive and direct impact government can have on the lives of New Yorkers and enhances the $150 million commitment Governor Hochul made to address long-standing environmental justice issues in the City of Mount Vernon. EFC is proud to spearhead the sewer and water funding efforts announced in April and is committed to working collaboratively with our agency partners to implement this comprehensive plan.”
Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard said, "In Mount Vernon, we are directly experiencing the impact of the climate change crisis and failing infrastructure that has been disregarded for decades. I've seen firsthand the impact that flooding and sewer backups have wreaked on our seniors and families. It's why our team has worked closely with Governor Hochul to provide economic relief for Mount Vernon homeowners. This $3 million in funding will be impactful to families remediating environmental hazards in their homes and becoming more resilient to the challenges we face from sewer and water incidents."
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, "I want to thank Governor Kathy Hochul for taking the initiative to bring much needed relief to the Mount Vernon residents who have long been plagued by significant water and sewer issues in their homes. The opening of the Healthy Homes Program will help Mount Vernon families say informed about repairs to wastewater or flood damage, sewage backflow prevention efforts and other environmental remediation they may be entitled to. Mount Vernon's critical water infrastructure is old and overburdened, and the Healthy Homes Program will ultimately improve the quality of life for these residents."
On April 15, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul, Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard and Westchester County Executive George Latimer announced $150 million in water infrastructure investment in Mt. Vernon, plus an additional $3 million to assist residents impacted by the sewer and water infrastructure crisis in the city. The initiative, administered by GOSR and targeted to the most frequently impacted and high-risk properties, will mitigate environmental hazards and make resiliency upgrades to private property. Participating homes may be eligible for repair to wastewater or flood damage, installation of sewage backflow prevention measures, mitigation of lead infiltration to water within homes, and other needed environmental remediation. Interested residents can visit stormrecovery.ny.gov/mountvernon to learn more.
Senator Chuck Schumer said, "For far too long too many Mount Vernon residents have had to live in fear of toxic sewage backing up into their homes, polluting their water, and putting the burden on the local taxpayer. I secured historic clean water funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law to get projects like Mount Vernon's finally off the ground, and I applaud Governor Hochul for her strong commitment to ending this sewage crisis. I will keep fighting tooth and nail to ensure that Mount Vernon has all the federal support it needs to make sure the city has the sewer system they've long desired and deserve."
Representative Jamaal Bowman said, "It's helpful and relevant timing that applications are now open for residents to participate in the Mount Vernon Healthy Homes pilot program. Earlier this week, Westchester County and NYC experienced another extreme rainstorm that resulted in flooding and damage to people's homes, schools, and workplaces. Our homes, roads, and highways were not built to sustain the weather we are now consistently experiencing. New York State and Mount Vernon are taking steps to provide much-needed housing remediation for some of those impacted by climate change's extreme weather while also improving the city's water and sewage infrastructure so that less damage is incurred going forward. We can't wait any longer to make these changes, and I hope that residents take this opportunity to apply for the pilot program."
State Senator Jamaal Bailey said, "This historic initiative is an important first step in building a safer, healthier, and more resilient city. For too long, Mount Vernon's water and sewage systems have deteriorated from decades of disinvestment and neglect. With renewed funding, this pilot program will advance repairs to the most frequently impacted and high-risk homes to address flood damage, sewage backflow, and lead infiltration while modernizing our systems for future generations. Thank you Governor Kathy Hochul and Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard for responding to the needs of our communities and ongoing commitment to the revitalization of Mount Vernon."
Assemblymember J. Gary Pretlow said, "The Mt. Vernon Healthy Homes Program will bring much needed assistance to many homeowners in our city. The current state of our infrastructure has continually caused severe damage to the homes of many of our hard-working citizens and we must provide all the necessary resources to end the damage that has been plaguing our great city."
About Governor's Office of Storm Recovery
Established in June 2013, GOSR coordinates statewide recovery efforts for Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee. Through its NY Rising Housing Recovery, Small Business, Community Reconstruction, Infrastructure, and Rebuild by Design programs, GOSR invests $4.5 billion in federal Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding to better prepare New York for extreme weather events.
GOSR is also leveraging Community Development Block Grant-Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funds to implement resiliency initiatives like Mount Vernon Healthy Homes.
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