2012-12-07 / Letters

Are You Aware?

Dear Editor,

Are you aware that FEMA is refusing Rockaway residents housing assistance?

I live on Shore Front Parkway in the Dayton Beach Mitchell Lama apartments and the whole of the ground floor was flooded.

Our storage lockers were flooded and we lost everything in them My car is done as the surge went over the top of it. I had to find alternative accommodation and with two dogs this was difficult to find especially having no relatives here.

I waited until the Allstate insurance guy had been to see my car on the 15 November, and for him to tell me that it was beyond repair, then applied for FEMA housing assistance I am now being told by FEMA that I will have to apply for a business loan. I am a 69 year old widow and do not require a business loan. This is what FEMA is telling anyone who didn't apply in the first week of the disaster. I have friends who applied the first week and 2900 dollars was deposited into their accounts within 4 days with no interview or request from FEMA telling them they had to apply for a business loan first.

Our mayor told us that we could apply and all would be well but all is not well. Many, many people are upset and desperate as they have lost their jobs and FEMA says they have to apply for a business loan before they can become eligible for housing assistance.

We had no heating, no lights, no elevators, no laundry, no internet, no phones, no tv for nearly four weeks. The building was not habitable but the inspector came to my apartment four weeks after Sandy and said to quote: "Housing Assistance - Denied - Based on FEMA's inspection, the damage to your home does not prevent you from living in the dwelling."

Our management office gave us a letter to present to FEMA stating that the building was uninhabitable and the heating and water didn't come back on till the 14 November and the electric came back on the 17 November and we still only have one elevator to serve 144 apartments

Perhaps your newspaper can highlight what is now happening to long suffering Rockaway residents. FEMA is causing much heartache and sadness to people who have already suffered too much from Sandy. They are discriminating against anyone who did not apply in the first few days of the disaster but, as there was no communication, no phones, no way to learn anything many people were not aware that FEMA were in our area.

FEMA needs to explain their actions towards people who have lived through this and had to vacate their only homes because as our management office says THE BUILDINGS WERE NOT HABITABLE.

ANNETTE GROSSMAN

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