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FEMA extends Transitional Sheltering Assistance again

Checkout postponned

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Room service!

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has once again extended its Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program for an additional two weeks at the behest of the Governor Cuomo, giving Hurricane victim’s until March 24 to checkout and find a more permanent spot — unless the feds give them another two week extension, that is.

“Because of the unique needs of people living in New York City, we’ve granted them several extensions,” said agency spokeswoman Hannah Vick of the program that provides federally funded hotel accommodations for folks displaced by Sandy. “Any time you’re looking at a population that has needs and you’re matching them up with housing resources, there’s gong to be a challenge.”

So far, FEMA has spent $54.5 million assisting 6,000 households with temporary housing, although there are only 567 households still residing in hotels on the government’s dime.

This extension marks the eighth time FEMA has put off checkout time for Sandy victims by two weeks, typically announcing the change just one or two days before deadline.

FEMA said the date of the extension’s announcement, while precariously near to the deadline for checkout, is not part of a subtle strategy to encourage people to hurry up and find a more permanent housing situation.

“The timing is not a strategy, although our overall goal is to get people to move from a hotel to a longer-term solution,” said Vick. “That’s a better solution for families and individuals as they put their lives back together.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

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