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Queens Chronicle

FEMA extends Hurricane Sandy living assistance deadline

Program will now end on March 24

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Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013 10:30 am

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, at the request of the State of New York, has approved a 14-day extension to the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program, which allows eligible survivors from Hurricane Sandy who cannot return to their homes to stay in participating hotels.

The new checkout date for those in the TSA program is March 24.

The TSA program allows eligible Hurricane Sandy survivors whose houses have been severely damaged or destroyed to stay in a hotel for a limited time. The cost of the room and taxes are paid directly to the hotel by FEMA.

The extension was approved to help those applicants still eligible for the program to remain in hotels as FEMA and its state and local partners work to identify longer-term housing solutions. All TSA applicants currently staying in hotels are evaluated for continued eligibility.

FEMA continues to work in coordination with state, local and voluntary agency partners to assist applicants through outreach and comprehensive casework to identify and transition them to more suitable temporary or long-term housing.

Meals, telephone calls and other incidental charges are not covered, and applicants are responsible for any lodging costs above the authorized allowance. The program does not reimburse previously incurred hotel expenses.

FEMA is calling applicants eligible for the extension to notify them of the new checkout date.

FEMA spokeswoman Debra Young said that as of March 8 there were still 570 households in New York State taking part in the program, but that’s down from about 1,100 as of Feb. 12 and more than 2,300 at the peak in early January.

Put in place immediately after Sandy, the program was extended multiple time spast its original expiration date of Nov. 16, 2012.

The deadline to apply for FEMA benefits was also extended another month to March 29.

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