NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg said about 10,000 homes damaged by Superstorm Sandy have now been restored thanks to the city’s Rapid Repair program.

Bloomberg announced the initial result of the city’s collaboration with FEMA to help New Yorkers speed their return home on Sunday.

“So far, the groundbreaking Rapid Repairs program has helped more than 10,000 families take a major step down the road to recovery from one of the worst natural disasters in this city’s history – and it is on track to help thousands more,” Bloomberg said.

Under Rapid Repairs, the city deployed dozens of contractors and thousands of skilled construction workers to do emergency work — free of charge to residents.

Rapid Repairs is designed to help the hardest hit victims. Crews temporarily restore necessities like heat, hot water and power so people don’t have to rely on temporary housing for too long and can start making long-term repairs.

“Rapid Repairs was created with the idea that the best way to fill the temporary housing need after a disaster is to return residents to their homes,” said Brad Gair, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations. “This program has helped more than 10,000 families do just that.”

While the program has helped thousands forge a shorter road to recovery, many New Yorkers still have a long way to go and some are paying for repairs out of their own pockets.

“I have the money and I put the place together because I see the Rockaways is suffering right now,” Belle Harbor Diner owner Jimmy Condolios told CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang.

In addition to the more than 10,000 homes, repairs on more than 6,000 buildings have also been completed. Work will be done on thousands of more homes in the coming weeks.

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