Speaker Quinn: 'We Don't Want To Repeat Mistakes That Were Made In Louisiana'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Hundreds of New Yorkers whose homes were badly damaged in superstorm Sandy are now weighing their options and deciding whether to pay more for flood insurance or to elevate their homes.

Members of the New York City Council said they want to make sure if homeowners choose the elevation option that it’s done correctly.

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Staten Island Councilman James Oddo said when he visited New Orleans recently, he was warned repeatedly about home elevation projects.

He and Councilman Vincent Ignizio took a tour of elevated homes in New Orleans that had shoddy construction.

“The gentleman who was heading up the tour said, ‘well what do you notice about this home?’ And obviously, it was shacked up. ‘What else do you notice?’ We’re not good at this game what is it? ‘There is no staircase.’ Some of them collapsed, some of them never were able to be lived in again,” Oddo told reporters including WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman.

Ignizio has drafted a bill that lays out a process for lifting homes to ensure there is oversight of the whole project.

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“That there is proper supervision, that people just aren’t doing this in the dead of night and that there is overall a level of expertise,” Ignizio said.

“Contractors give 48 hours of notice to the Department of Buildings before elevating a home,” to ensure all construction is done properly, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.

Ignizio said the aim is to prevent adding insult to injury on Sandy victims.

“Your classic story of, ‘hey, this guy said he’ll raise your house for $50,000, I’ll do it for $20,000, just give me the $20,000 and I’ll take care of it,'” Ignizio said.

“We’ve never done this type of elevation in this mass a number in this quick period of time before,” Quinn said. “We don’t want to repeat mistakes that were made in Louisiana.”

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