NHS Brooklyn was pleased to partner with Councilman Alan Maisel on Saturday, June 3, at his now annual DEP Rain Barrel Giveaway.
While the Councilman chatted with constituents, his staff distributed 100 rain barrels and NHS Brooklyn signed up dozens of local homeowners for the FloodHelpNY Program.
Rain barrels are a great way to reduce a home's water bill. Once they are connected to the vertical leader of a home's gutter system, rain barrels catch rain water. That water can then be used for gardening, washing the car, and other purposes.
FloodHelpNY is a program designed to educate New York City homeowners about their home's flood risk, changes to flood insurance rates, and resources for protecting property and residents from future floods by making homes more resilient.
A number of homeowners who came to the event to pick up a rain barrel were surprised to learn that, even though their home was not hit by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012, it is now in a flood zone because the FEMA flood maps have changed to include many more Canarsie homes. They were also eager to learn more at an upcoming community presentation, "What's Your Plan When Canarsie Floods Again?." Scheduled for June 15 from 6-8pm at Beraca Baptist Church (9602 Flatlands, off Rockaway Parkway), the presentation will be conducted in English and Haitian Creole.
Quite a few homeowners also signed up to have NHS Brooklyn's insurance specialist, Elizabeth Malone, review their homeowner's and/or flood insurance policy. "People know what they pay for these policies, but they don't necessarily know what they're buying," stated Ms. Malone. Small-group workshops and one-on-one counseling are available in NHS Brooklyn's Canarsie office at 9701 Avenue L as well as other Brooklyn locations.
Other homeowners who stopped by to pick up a rain barrel were interested in NHS Brooklyn's Foreclosure Intervention Program. Brooklyn is the only NYC borough where foreclosures were up in 2016 (by a whopping 24%!), and Canarsie's rate is Brooklyn's highest. One homeowner was especially pleased to learn that NHS Brooklyn might be able to help her secure a loan modification, even though she wasn't behind with her payments.
Still others were thrilled to learn that NHS Brooklyn offers low-interest loans for home repairs. "Every time it rains, the water comes in through the roof! I will definitely call on Monday for help," said one homeowner with a smile.
The event was held at the Hebrew Educational Society at 9502 Seaview Avenue and is one of many rain barrel giveaways being held by elected officials around the city.