Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) and our affiliates — AAFE Community Development Fund (AAFE CDF) and Renaissance Economic Development Corporation (Renaissance) — have been working hard on local relief and recovery efforts. The following is an update on our agency’s comprehensive response.
City-Wide Emergency Loan Funds
AAFE CDF and Renaissance have two city-wide emergency loan funds to help homeowners and small businesses recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. The Emergency Repair Loan and Hurricane Recovery Initiative have assisted 75 clients with a total of $1,500,000 in loans.
We have made a concerted effort to outreach to impacted areas including Coney Island and Staten Island. AAFE needs additional funding to hire 3-4 temporary outreach staff to reach hard-hit communities for the next two months to let homeowners and small business owners know about disaster recovery aid available. AAFE also needs more staff to handle the load of additional intake and processing. The volume of people seeking help will only increase in the coming weeks. Homeowners and businesses interested in learning more can visit our Chinatown, Flushing or Sunset Park offices, call to set-up an appointment or visit this web link.
Small Business Profiles:
- A transportation rental service company based in Sunset Park, Brooklyn has applied for a $30,000 loan. The company leases out ten passenger buses – each with a 56 person capacity – for travel and tourism. The buses are parked at a rented lot located on 2nd Avenue in Sunset Park, one avenue from the Hudson River. The storm caused major flooding in that area, with water filling up about a third of each bus and causing damage to the engines, computers, and electrical panels located on the bus’ lower levels. As a result, the business must repair the damage to all of the vehicles. In addition to the expenses associated with fixing the vehicles, the owner expects a loss of around $100,000 in sales since the business will be unable to operate for at least one month while the damage is repaired.
- A cosmetics wholesale company based in Dongan Hills, Staten Island has applied for a $15,000 emergency loan. During the storm, the business experienced major flood damage and lost power. The flood damaged the entire inventory, valued at about $10,000, and caused damage to the exterior and interior of the business. The business owner must repair damage to the business location and replace the inventory in order for the business to reopen.
- A homeowner in College Point, Queens has applied for and received a $20,000 emergency loan through the Emergency Repair Loan for Homeowners offered by AAFE CDF to repair damage incurred during Hurricane Sandy. The homeowner and his wife purchased the home in March of 2012. As a result of the storm, the home has damage to the exterior, including the gutters and roof as well as damage to walkways and fences.
- A homeowner in Dongan Hills, Staten Island applied for and obtained an emergency loan in the amount of $20,000 to repair damages caused by Hurricane Sandy. The homeowner purchased the one-family home located in the neighborhood directly adjacent to Lower Bay in 2011. As a result of the storm, the majority of the basement was flooded and the home incurred major damage to the floor. In addition, the homeowner must replace the boiler and other equipment housed in the basement.
Click here for more loan profiles.
Community Outreach and Relief
AAFE’s staff and volunteers supported the efforts of our elected officials and other nonprofit organizations responding to community needs at Confucius Plaza, Hamilton Madison House, Smith Houses, and Knickerbocker Village. We made sure to monitor our client base of rent-regulated tenants in Lower Manhattan. AAFE staff will continue to assist clients with general questions and assistance in applying for government programs (FEMA assistance, replacement food stamps, disaster unemployment benefits, change of address, rent reductions, etc.). Eligible clients interested in learning more can visit our Chinatown, Flushing or Sunset Park offices, call to set-up an appointment or visit this link.
AAFE’s property management team visited over 500 families living in our properties to make sure they had enough provisions to survive the storm.
A 16-unit affordable housing building in the Lower East Side was flooded during the storm and the boiler was damaged beyond repair. AAFE is looking for funding to immediately replace the gas boiler, and provide 16 electric heaters and utility subsidies so that the tenants have heat in their units as temperatures are dropping close to freezing.
AAFE is also raising funds for a long-term disaster planning and response so we will be prepared for future events. AAFE is looking to purchase four (4) industrial Honda EU3000I Handi Inverter Generators to power various buildings for quicker disaster recovery operations during disasters, and getting direct services back on line as soon as possible. AAFE is also looking to purchase twenty (20) industrial Maglite Pro LED flashlights to assist tenants trapped in high rise buildings during power outages. AAFE is looking to purchase twenty (20) Motorola XPR 7550 portable 2-way radios to enable communications between staff when responding to disasters or emergency relief efforts, with a 2-way radio base and communication system to be operated from our remote emergency response command center.
Please send a check made out to “Asian Americans for Equality, Inc.” to:Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund AAFE 111 Division Street New York, NY 10002
Or visit our donation page and designate your contribution as “Hurricane Sandy”
Questions can be directed to Douglas Lim at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212)979-8988 Monday through Friday, 9-5pm.