The Federal Emergency Management Agency, at the request of the State of New York, has approved a 14-day extension to the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program, which allows eligible survivors from Hurricane Sandy who cannot return to their homes to stay in participating hotels or motels.
The new checkout date for those in the TSA program is Feb. 24, 2013. FEMA will call applicants eligible for the extension to notify them of the new checkout date.
The temporary Transitional Sheltering Assistance program allows eligible Hurricane Sandy survivors whose houses have been severely damaged or destroyed to stay in a hotel or motel for a limited time and have the cost of the room and taxes paid directly to the hotel by FEMA.
The extension was approved to help those applicants still eligible for the program to remain in hotels as FEMA and its state and local partners work to identify longer-term housing solutions. All TSA applicants currently staying in hotels will be evaluated for continued eligibility.
FEMA continues to work in coordination with state, local and voluntary agency partners to assist applicants through outreach and comprehensive casework to identify and transition them to more suitable temporary or long-term housing.
Meals, telephone calls and other incidental charges are not covered, and applicants are responsible for any lodging costs above the authorized allowance. The program does not reimburse previously incurred hotel expenses.
FEMA deserves credit for showing flexibility with its deadlines to help people get the assistance they need. I’m glad the Agency is listening to the public and look forward to continuing to work with them as people recover from Sandy.
Carolyn McCarthy is the representative of New York’s Fourth Congressional District. She was first elected in 1996.