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Some SI Residents Still Waiting For Help From Rapid Repairs

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Some residents on Staten Island say they've been given the runaround about when contractors will finally restore power and heat to their homes as part of the Rapid Repairs program. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.

Cathy Hudgens is hoping that Rapid Repairs can fix her boiler and furnace, install electricity and restore hot water to her home. But she's waited a long time for work to begin.

"The first time was November 23 that Rapid Repair came to evaluate my home," she said. "I signed a right of entry and they said somebody would get in touch with me within a week. I waited almost two weeks."

Hudgens said Rapid Repairs stuck a sign on the door of her Cherokee Street home last week, but no one ever showed up to do any work. While she waits, she said what's left of her home is falling apart.

"You can't treat the mold until you get some kind of heat, electricity and be able to use the blowers and slow everything down," she said.

More than a dozen homeowners on Hudgens' street have the same issue.

"Every day, we stay here because they say 'Oh, we coming! Stay there,'" said resident Irene Brossar. "Well, they better come in and stay in the cold because there is nothing going on here. Nobody calling, nobody coming. It's ridiculous that we are left in the cold and everybody forget. It's not just me. Every single house you look, they waiting for somebody to come in and nobody coming."

Residents we spoke with said they're waiting for insurance claims to come through.
Meanwhile, with little money saved, they said they're forced to rely on Rapid Repairs to get the work started, putting them at the mercy of a system they said is broken.

On Wednesday, Mayor Bloomberg disagreed.

"I don't know how you can criticize what's been going on," he said. "Number one, because we're the only one doing it, and number two, because it actually is working, and I don't think you can expect it to work much better."

A Rapid Repairs spokesperson said the original contractor hired by the city was fired because of shoddy workmanship. He said paperwork was lost in the shuffle, which added to delays and scheduling miscommunications. He said residents on Cherokee Street can expect a visit from rapid repairs on Thursday.

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