Streams

City is Counting on Federal Housing Vouchers to House Poorest Sandy Victims

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

WNYC

The city plans to use federally funded housing vouchers to place some of the poorest Sandy victims in private apartments. But vouchers must still be approved by the federal government and there's concern they may not come soon enough to keep some families from ending up in shelters.

Roughly 1200 households are staying in hotels scattered across the city. Either the city or the Federal Emergency Management Agency is covering the cost. Originally, through landlords it works with, the city had set aside hundreds of low income apartments for these families only to realize that many were too poor to qualify for them.  At a city council hearing Tuesday, officials said families were being visited by caseworkers who were trying to help them apply for other options such as public housing as well as get them mental health services,  home health aides and substance services when needed.

Advocates for the poor said prior to the storm many of these families were living in rented rooms, illegal basements, and crowded boarding houses - all precarious housing situations.  They are calling for an infusion of federally funded Section 8 vouchers which are permanent subsidies that have no end as long as families continue to meet the income requirements. 

The vouchers the city is counting on are similar to Section 8 but typically end after two years.  Jerome and Trish Stevenson were hoping to receive some form of subsidy. They've been staying at the DoubleTree in midtown Manhattan with their two small children but were recently told their hotel stay would no longer be extended and they would be sent to a city homeless shelter instead. 

"We've been breaking our backs, going to all these appointments and doing everything they asked of us and in the end we still getting put in a family shelter.  We find it highly unfair," said Jerome Stevenson.

Prior to the storm, the family had been living with relatives in Far Rockaway. They say that apartment has since been condemned and no one can go back to it including their relatives who are also staying in a hotel and in need of assistance. The couple said they are job hunting but have struggled to find work.

The city said the federal subsidy should help families such as the Stevenson's but a spokesman would not comment on their particular case.

 

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Comments [4]

nikkia from 1111

i agree with ms maria not sounding mean or anything like that but advantage families have been hit the hardest. even though sandy victims where displace by a natural disaster "mother nature". MY HEART GOES OUT TO THE FAMILIES WHO LOST LOVE ONES LIKE THE MOORE FAMILY. HER SONS WERE SWEPT FROM HER ARMS. SHE, LIKE A SMALL FEW WERE LISTENING AND WAS LEAVING. TO THOSE WHO DECIDED TO STAY AND RIDE THAT STORM OUT I DONT FEEL ANYTHING FOR YOU YOU WERE ADVISE TO LEAVE AND YOU MAKE A FOOLISH DECISION TO STAY.NOW YOU WANT HELP!!! SEE ADVANTAGE FAMILIES WE HAD NO CHOICE!!!!! we WAS displace by MAN (bloomy and coumo). we had no choice in the matter. we were evicted out of homes without a second thought. our situation could have been prevented waaaay before it really hit the fan. it was NOT ok for the feds and the state to lie to families JUST TO GET THEM OUT OF THE SHELTER ON THIS FRAUDULENT PROGRAM!!!!. (ADVANTAGE VOUCHER TURNING INTO A SECTION 8 VOUCHER) NOW WE ARE BACK HERE AT SQUARE ONE!!! AND NOW BLOOMY AND CUOMO ARE TURNING THEIR HEADS THE OTHER WAY LIKE THIS IS NOT THEIR MESS THAT THEY CREATED!!! BUT THEY ON TV ASKING FOR THE SAME GOVERNMENTAL AID THAT WE NEED!!! JUST KEEP SPITTING IN THE FACE OF THE ADVANTAGE FAMILIES. AND NOW BLOOMBERG WANT TO PASS THIS MESS TO THE NEXT MAYOR TO CLEAN UP?!!!! HOW DARE YOU!!!

Mar. 08 2013 11:35 AM
nikkia from 1111

i agree with ms maria not sounding mean or anything like that but advantage families have been hit the hardest. even though sandy victims where displace by a natural disaster "mother nature". MY HEART GOES OUT TO THE FAMILIES WHO LOST LOVE ONES LIKE THE MOORE FAMILY. HER SONS WERE SWEPT FROM HER ARMS. SHE, LIKE A SMALL FEW WERE LISTENING AND WAS LEAVING. TO THOSE WHO DECIDED TO STAY AND RIDE THAT STORM OUT I DONT FEEL ANYTHING FOR YOU YOU WERE ADVISE TO LEAVE AND YOU MAKE A FOOLISH DECISION TO STAY.NOW YOU WANT HELP!!! SEE ADVANTAGE FAMILIES WE HAD NO CHOICE!!!!! we WAS displace by MAN (bloomy and coumo). we had no choice in the matter. we were evicted out of homes without a second thought. our situation could have been prevented waaaay before it really hit the fan. it was NOT ok for the feds and the state to lie to families JUST TO GET THEM OUT OF THE SHELTER ON THIS FRAUDULENT PROGRAM!!!!. (ADVANTAGE VOUCHER TURNING INTO A SECTION 8 VOUCHER) NOW WE ARE BACK HERE AT SQUARE ONE!!! AND NOW BLOOMY AND CUOMO ARE TURNING THEIR HEADS THE OTHER WAY LIKE THIS IS NOT THEIR MESS THAT THEY CREATED!!! BUT THEY ON TV ASKING FOR THE SAME GOVERNMENTAL AID THAT WE NEED!!! JUST KEEP SPITTING IN THE FACE OF THE ADVANTAGE FAMILIES. AND NOW BLOOMBERG WANT TO PASS THIS MESS TO THE NEXT MAYOR TO CLEAN UP?!!!! HOW DARE YOU!!!

Mar. 08 2013 11:31 AM
Anonymous from From NYC

I've been in a women's Shelter since March 2012! Their not helping me or my daughter with anything but trying move me out without proper assistance! I'm sick and tired of this place! When I call Realty's and I don't qualify enough for any apartments because I don't make enough! No help from nowhere! They rather pay $2,159.00 dollars a month for me to be in a shelter than give me affordable housing!

Mar. 04 2013 07:28 PM
Maria F from nyc

Not to sound mean but i am sick of hearing about housing for hurricane sandy victims. I am living in a family shelter with my kids also needing a voucher. The government should address ALL displaced homeless people and issue us a voucher for a chance at housing as well. After all, we have been displaced long before hurricane Sandy and its not fair to leave us out in the mix.

Mar. 01 2013 01:45 AM

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