Homeless Again: Housing Vouchers Expire for Some Sandy Victims - New York News

Homeless Again: Housing Vouchers Expire for Some Sandy Victims

Posted: Updated:
A victim of Sandy prepares to move out of a hotel room in Wildwood, New Jersey. A victim of Sandy prepares to move out of a hotel room in Wildwood, New Jersey.
WILDWOOD, N.J. -

Dozens of victims displaced by Hurricane Sandy have been told their FEMA temporary housing vouchers have expired. It means FEMA is no longer paying for their hotel rooms where they've been staying since November.

The word came this weekend to some of the 200 people who were bussed to three Wildwood hotels when their homes were damaged by the storm.

"I've lost all my furniture. All I have is what's here," said Brian Sotelo of Toms River.

Sotelo, along with this wife and three kids, spent his last day at The Days Inn packing up a moving truck heading to Jacksonville, Florida to stay with family. Sotelo says the family has no other choice since rental home prices in Toms River have skyrocketed.

"We can't afford to live here any more with everything that's going on." he said.

FEMA extended temporary housing benefits to more than 1,100 people in New Jersey. But dozens we spoke with say their vouchers expired on Friday.  A spokesman could not tell us why some were extended and some were denied.

"I can't understand why we can't have just a little more time" said Brian Polhaumus of West Wildwood. His rental home also suffered major damage. Since he is unemployed he will now try to stay with friends or family, but nothing is definite.

The Wiegman family from Seaside Heights has been living out of a hotel room since November 6th. The family was one of the lucky ones since they received a housing extension for another two weeks.

"It's stressful, the nerves, all week long, scared, the insomnia, the worrying, the praying..wondering if we'll be living under the boardwalk" says Jackie Wiegman.

"Somebody has to help us in Wildwood. They forgot about us here. And that's sad" said Debbie Wiegman.

Although hotels won't get reimbursed by FEMA for those who do not have vouchers, owners of hotels like The Days Inn and The Bolero Resort say they'll be letting victims stay a few nights.

"They're pretty much desperate. Really I think they've forgotten them here" says Bolero Resort owner Wally Lerro.

A FEMA spokesman says transitional housing, like hotels are meant as an assistance program not a solution. They say help is available to victims to find more permanent housing at FEMA.gov.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • MTA, union reach deal for transit workers

    MTA, union reach deal for transit workers

    Thursday, April 17 2014 5:09 PM EDT2014-04-17 21:09:38 GMT
    Transit officials and the union representing about 34,000 city subway and bus workers reached a tentative contract deal that would include raises and new benefits but require higher health insurance payments, both sides and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.
    Transit officials and the union representing about 34,000 city subway and bus workers reached a tentative contract deal that would include raises and new benefits but require higher health insurance payments, both sides and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.
  • Dance raves for kids at NYC's hot clubs

    Dance raves for kids at NYC's hot clubs

    Thursday, April 17 2014 4:21 PM EDT2014-04-17 20:21:39 GMT
    A dance party for kids and tweens looks like a rave or perhaps a wild night at the club. But actually, many of the people at this party probably just learned how to tie their shoes. Twin brothers Tyler and Tristin recently had a FUZIPOP party in Manhattan to celebrate their 10th birthday. Never heard of a FUZIPOP party?
    A dance party for kids and tweens looks like a rave or perhaps a wild night at the club. But actually, many of the people at this party probably just learned how to tie their shoes. Twin brothers Tyler and Tristin recently had a FUZIPOP party in Manhattan to celebrate their 10th birthday. Never heard of a FUZIPOP party?
  • Ex-NBA player: Re-entry tougher than serving time

    Ex-NBA player: Re-entry tougher than serving time

    Thursday, April 17 2014 4:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 20:05:09 GMT
    Jayson WilliamsJayson Williams
    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the federal prosecutor investigating political payback allegations involving the Republican's administration are both set to speak at a prisoner re-entry conference on Thursday.
    Former NBA player Jayson Williams says trying to re-enter society after serving time for shooting a limousine driver was more difficult than being in prison.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices