In order to house individuals and families displaced by the fierce Hurricane Sandy, the city is reserving some empty apartments which it helped develop for low-income and disabled New Yorkers for those in need as winter approaches. In addition, the city will be joining together with private developers and those in real estate to allow Sandy’s now homeless victims to have a roof over their heads as winter approaches in full force.
“There’s a lot of folks that are going to be able to benefit from this,” said Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Mathew Wambua. “There’s folks that are still, for instance in hotels, who might need longer term solutions. There are folks who are in temporary facilities who may need longer term solutions.”
There are about 2500 homes which are reserved for the disabled and economically challenged sectors. There are also about an additional 700 market-value homes. There is a chance that FEMA will be able to help with rental fees.
“We are doing our best to try and address all the need that is out there,” Wambua said. “We don’t know that that is going to meet all the need that is out there, but we will continue to works towards ensuring that if you are displaced, that we can be an asset towards helping you find a place.”
Those who get in this program can expect to sign one-year leases for their apartments, but landlords are being asked to try and be flexible so that renters can leave as soon as their homes are repaired enough to go back to. The final goal is to get people back into their own homes as quickly as possible, which is why the government is paying for repairs. It is expected that finding an apartment through this program may take a while, and some other more temporary shelter may be needed until an apartment becomes available or is found.
For residents with a FEMA number more information about this program is available at nyc.gov. Registering on the city portal will allow them to get information of any further housing options that come available. Residents can also call 311 for help.