While Superstorm Sandy hit everyone in Southern Brooklyn hard, perhaps no one was hit harder than low-income renters in Coney Island and Brighton Beach, according to a report published by the New York Daily News.
Residents in Coney and Brighton filed more requests for federal aid after Sandy than any other neighborhood in the city. In numbers tabulated by Enterprise Community Partners, a national affordable housing organization, 14,649 people requested aid in Brighton Beach compared to 12,764 in Coney Island.
According to the report, 69 percent of the people requesting aid were earning less than $30,000, illuminating the overwhelming financial burden Sandy has imposed on those who could afford it least.
“Much of the reporting on Sandy victims has focused on homeowners. Yet, 55 percent of the surge victims in New York were very low-income renters, whose incomes are $18,000 a year on average,” said Max Weselcouch of the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. “These households were vulnerable before the storm, and programs to assist them will need to take their need for affordable housing into account in order for them to fully recover from the storm’s damage.”
Jewish seniors from the former Soviet Union have a startlingly high poverty rate of 71 percent, according to the UJA-Federation’s “Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011,” and Orthodox Jews aren’t far behind, with a poverty rate of 42 percent.
The survey shows that 361,000 Jews in New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester, are presently experiencing a life of poverty. This represents a 15 percent increase in the amount of impoverished Jews in those areas since 2002.
The study placed the poverty line at an annual income of $27,000 for a family of three, and designated that of $45,000 as “near-poverty” for a family of the same size.
Elderly Russian immigrants and Orthodox Jews are the two groups who have been most affected, said Jack Ukeles, a member of the survey team. He also stated that younger Russians are fairing better than the elderly.
“Older Russians, who came here with little money and a lot of health problems, are not making it,” Ukeles said. “It’s too late for them.”
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Oh, yeah, 'das hot, yo. (Source: Wikipedia)
If your family is worried about your ability to pay your heating bills as temperatures drop, you may be eligible for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), a federally-funded program that issues heating benefits to supplement a household’s annual energy cost.
HEAP offers two tiers of benefits to New York’s working families: a regular stipend for lower-income folks in need of assistance, or an emergency benefit for those stuck in specific, short-term circumstances.
Check out the types of benefits and the eligibility requirements.