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FEMA agrees to extend shelter rights for superstorm victims

By Steve Mosco

Victims of Hurricane Sandy who still cannot return home were given an extension to remain in temporary shelters this week.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved a 28-day extension to the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program, allowing eligible survivors of the storm to stay in participating hotels or motels.

The extension begins May 1, which had been the deadline for the last extension granted in April.

“Nearly six months after the storm, this program continues to be an essential resource for Sandy victims who still cannot return home, which is why we asked FEMA for an extension beyond the program’s usual six-month life,” Cuomo said. “This extension for the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program will give more time to those without a housing solution to find one.”

The new checkout date for those in the program is May 29. The governor said FEMA would call applicants to notify them of the new deadline.

To be eligible for the program, survivors must apply for federal assistance through FEMA by registering at disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA.

Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at smosco@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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