A home in Sea Gate damaged (in the rear) by Sandy. Photo by Erica Sherman
Time is running out for Superstorm Sandy victims who were placed in Brooklyn hotels by FEMA following the destruction of their homes and apartments late last October. According to an article in the New York Daily News, the deadline set by FEMA to allow for displaced storm victims to stay in hotels and motels is January 12, and a further extension seems unlikely.
FEMA has housed close to 2,200 families, extending the deadline for the program twice already, but many of the people living in the hotels have no place else to go come mid-January.
“Where am I going to go?” Ruebin Hernandez asked the Daily News, a 53-year-old on disability who lost his Seagate apartment. “If an extension isn’t made some people are going to freeze.”
Hernandez is currently staying at a Super 8 motel in Park Slope, a building with half its rooms occupied by Sandy victims. For those wondering, the January 12 deadline has nothing to do with the proposed $60 billion Sandy aid package stalled in the House of Representatives.
For its part, FEMA has urged the Sandy victims to stay in touch with the agency, no matter what happens come the January 12 deadline.
“We are proactively working with each family to provide all the assistance we can,” FEMA spokesman Ed Conley said to the Daily News. He has strongly urged victims to call (800) 621-3362.
Here at Sheepshead Bites, we are wondering if any readers know anybody from the area currently staying in a hotel or motel with a FEMA voucher, and if they have no place to go by the January 12 deadline. Please email us at nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com with any details.
Brighton Neighborhood Association Executive Director Pat Singer, left, and her staff (not pictured) have returned to their office at the Chase Bank in Brighton Beach following Superstorm Sandy. Photo by Erica Sherman
After being displaced and working from remote locations to serve their community in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, our friends at the Brighton Neighborhood Association (BNA) are back!
The social services and tenant advocacy organization officially re-opened for business today in its location at the Chase Bank, 1002 Brighton Beach Avenue on the corner of Coney Island Avenue.
Displaced from her own Brighton Beach apartment in the weeks following Sandy, BNA’s Executive Director, Pat Singer, as well as staff members Janet Veksler and Claudia Escoto, continued to reach out to the community in its time of need.
To learn more about the BNA and the work they do for the community, contact Singer at (718) 891-0800, visit www.brightonbeach.com, and “Like” BNA on Facebook.
Correction (12/18/2012): The original version of this article indicated that the BNA coordinated with Shorefront Y on Sandy relief. Shorefront Y has notified us that this was erroneous, and we have updated the article. We regret any confusion this may have caused.
Source: Thomas Good via Wikimedia Commons
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, local Chambers of Commerce, and elected officials launched a new campaign aimed at assisting neighborhood businesses affected by Superstorm Sandy.
The initiative is called “Bounce Back NYC,” and it will be sending staff members and volunteers to the hardest hit neighborhoods and business districts in an all out effort to assist, promote, and restore small businesses back to health.
“We are setting out to provide small businesses in the hardest-hit parts of our city with more promotion, more customers and more resources to help them back on their feet,” De Blasio announced in a press release.
If you are work in or operate a small business that has been affected by Sandy, we urge you to fill out a form to get listed on bouncebacknyc.com. Over 500 of the hardest hit businesses from Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island have already registered. Almost none are from Sheepshead Bay, so get on it!
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced the approval of $118 million in Disaster Assistance Loans for businesses and residents affected by Superstorm Sandy. The SBA also extended the filing deadline for physical property damage to January 28, 2013, and the deadline for economic injury applications to July 31, 2013.
In a press release, Frank Skaggs, director of the SBA’s Field Operations Center East, said that, “Currently, 1,945 disaster loans have been approved in the amount of $118,791,500 for affected survivors,” and that, “We are pleased to get these loans approved so residents in the disaster area can start to rebuild and resume their normal lives. I encourage anyone who has not completed their disaster loan application to do so and return it as quickly as possible.”
Those looking to apply, can visit the SBA’s secure website. For further information and additional details on the loan application process and the location of recovery centers, call the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or send an email to email@example.com.
Photo by Erica Sherman
State Senator David Storobin is offering free legal services today, Wednesday, December 12, for his constituents affected by Superstorm Sandy.
The service is being offered by the Brooklyn Volunteer Lawyers Project, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and their attorneys will be present at Storobin’s district office to assist with Sandy related matters. The consultations available are provided in multiple languages including Russian.
Those interested in booking an appointment can call Vicky at (718) 743-8610. Walk-ins are also welcome.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
10 am – 2 pm
District office of NY State Senator David Storobin
2201 Avenue U
Brooklyn, NY 11229
Photo by Erica Sherman
State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver introduced the New York City Hurricane Sandy Assessment Relief Act, legislation intended to provide tax relief to New York City homeowners and businesses severely impacted by Superstorm Sandy.
The legislation would allow property owners who suffered damages from Sandy to apply for property tax assessment reductions on a sliding scale. The sliding scale is based on the percentage of value lost, so the more damage you suffered, the less you would pay in taxes. Here is a breakdown of the figures.
- 50 but less than 60 percent loss in value, taxable assessed value would be reduced by 55 percent;
- 60 but less than 70 percent loss in value, taxable assessed value would be reduced by 65 percent;
- 70 but less than 80 percent loss in value, taxable assessed value would be reduced by 75 percent;
- 80 but less than 90 percent loss in value, taxable assessed value would be reduced by 85 percent;
- 90 but less than 100 percent loss in value, taxable assessed value would be reduced by 95 percent;
- 100 percent loss, taxable assessed value would be reduced to zero.
According to the legislation, the home or business owner would be required to submit a written request to the New York City Department of Finance, which in turn would determine the percentage of lost value. The New York City Tax Commission would review any assessment changes if requested by the property owner.
Local co-sponsors of the bill include Alec Brook-Krasny, Steven Cymbrowitz, Helene Weinstein and Alan Maisel.
Source: Wikimedia Commons via Wikipedia
Local New York City-based Congressional Representatives are banding together to urge FEMA to extend the deadline for small businesses affected by Superstorm Sandy to apply for disaster aid. A joint letter to FEMA, cosigned by nearly a dozen Congressional Representatives, argues that the deadline, currently set at December 31, is too soon and should be pushed back until May 1, 2013 so small businesses can accurately assess the damages wrought upon their livelihoods.
Congressman Jerrold Nadler, who represents Coney Island, Bensonhurst, and Borough Park, was among those that signed the letter, wrote:
Hurricane Sandy displaced tens of thousands of New Yorkers and shuttered or destroyed thousands of businesses. Despite the tireless work by so many to rebuild and get business and life back to normal, we are still a long way off. Our constituents and businesses still need time to regroup and rebuild and, as such, we are asking FEMA to extend the deadline for small business claims to May 1 to give them a real opportunity to get what they need and deserve.
Thus far, FEMA has already paid out $745 million to individuals and families since the advent of Sandy, with $152.1 million earmarked for Kings County alone, while the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), has approved $85.5 million in loans for businesses, renters, and homeowners. For more information on assistance, you can send an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov, visit sba.gov, or call the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center toll-free number 800-659-2955 (TTY (for hearing impaired) 800-877-8339.)
If you are in need of some pro-bono legal aid for issues resulting from the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, head down to the Kings Bay Y on 3495 Nostrand Avenue today between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
A team of lawyers will be on hand to answer questions and offer advice on unemployment insurance, FEMA, and repairs and any other Superstorm Sandy legal questions you could think of.
The event is being put together by the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project, State Senator David Storobin, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, and the Kings Bay Y.
Appointments can be made over the phone with Lora at (718) 648-7703, ext. 227. Walk-ins are also encouraged. Make sure to come prepared with any and all relevant documents you may have questions on as well.
Source: Harris and Ewing via Wikimedia Commons
Starting this Wednesday, December 12, through Tuesday, December 18, the New York City Human Resources Administration, led by Commissioner Robert Doar, will be enacting a Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) for people living in zip codes most affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Families and individuals living in the 12 designated zip codes, which include Coney Island, the Rockaways, parts of Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Manhattan, can apply for disaster food stamp aid as long as they are currently not receiving food stamps already. People looking to receive aid need to apply between December 12 and December 18, and must do so in person, or have an authorized person representing their household at the following locations.
- 495 Clermont Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn, from December 12 to December 18 between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. On the first two days, applications at this location will only be accepted alphabetically, according to the first initial of the applicant’s last name: A-M on Wednesday, December 12 and N-Z on Thursday, December 13. From Friday, December 14 to Tuesday, December 18 applications will be accepted regardless of applicant’s last name.
- New Dorp High School Cafeteria, in Staten Island (465 New Dorp Lane): Friday, December 14, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, December 15-16, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Monday, December 17, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Here is a list of the specific zip codes the program covers, as well as the conditions needed to qualify.
If you’re not a current SNAP recipient:
- Have lived in one of these designated, hardest hit zip codes as of October 27, 2012:
- Coney Island, Brooklyn (zip code 11224 and 11235)
- Red Hook, Brooklyn (zip code 11231)
- Gerritsen Beach South of Allen Avenue, Brooklyn (partial area of zip code 11229)
- Lower East Side, Manhattan (zip code 10002)
- Staten Island: Southeast shore (zip code 10306), and North Midland Beach South of Seaview Avenue (partial area of zip code 10305)
- the Far Rockaways, Queens (zip codes 11691, 11692, 11693, 11694, and 11697)
- Must have sustained at least one of the following adverse effects due to the storm:
- storm-related damage to their household’s home or self-employment business
- Paid other un-reimbursed disaster-related expenses between October 27 and November 25. (The cost of food lost due to the disaster is not an allowable expense, but the cost of meals purchased at restaurants because of the storm is allowable.)
- Have lost income or been unable to access liquid resources (cash, bank accounts) between October 27 and November 25
- Must meet the D-SNAP income guidelines.
For more information on qualification guidelines and other specifics, visit nyc.gov, the NYC Human Resources Administration’s release, or call 311.
With the motto, “No Neighbor Left Behind,” the Bay Improvement Group, along with Sheepshead Bay Plumb Beach Civic Association, Occupy Sandy and volunteers, has called another 7 p.m. Block Captains meeting for this Wednesday, December 5, at Roll ‘n’ Roaster (2901 Emmons Avenue).
The purpose of the meeting is to bring the “needs of Sheepshead Bay residents affected by Hurricane Sandy to the attention of public and private sources of support, and accelerate the pace of relief and recovery.”
They write on their announcement, “Please come if you would like to represent your block, relay the needs of your neighbors, and bring info back to them.”
Those who cannot attend but wish to make their situations known are asked to complete a survey that assesses the status of homes and any immediate needs for demolition, trash removal and any other services. The form can be found here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CKXSTLG.