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Queens Chronicle

FEMA extends Hurricane Sandy shelter aid deadline

426 households still taking part in program

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Posted: Friday, March 22, 2013 2:31 pm | Updated: 4:57 pm, Mon Mar 25, 2013.

At the request of the state government, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved a 21-day extension to the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program, which allows eligible survivors of Hurricane Sandy who cannot return to their homes to stay in participating hotels.

The new checkout date for those in the TSA program is April 14, extended from the previous deadline of March 24.

FEMA announced the extension on Thursday and said it called applicants eligible for the extension to notify them of the new checkout date that day.

Debra Young, a spokeswoman for FEMA said there are 426 households still utilizing TSA help in New York; that includes people in New York City and Long Island. At its peak in January, more than 2,200 households were taking part in the program.

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 find longer-term housing solutions. All TSA applicants currently staying in hotels are evaluated for continued eligibility, the agency said in a press release.

Many of those people who are no longer taking part have either moved back to their homes after repairing them or found new homes or temporary housing if they are to be displaced long term.

Young said FEMA will continue to coordinate with state, local and voluntary agency partners to assist applicants through outreach and comprehensive casework find them more suitable temporary or long-term housing and help them transition into it.

According to FEMA, meals, telephone calls and other incidental charges are not covered by the TSA program, and applicants are responsible for any lodging costs above the authorized allowance. The program also does not reimburse previously incurred hotel expenses.

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