Rental Assistance A Better Option For Urban Areas Hit By Sandy

By Katie Colaneri, WBGO News
Hoboken. November 9, 2012

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The government is moving mobile homes into the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy. But that may not be the best solution for the dense, urban areas affected by the storm.

Ed Smith is a Senior Policy Advisor for FEMA who’s working on the ground in Hoboken. He says trailers aren’t a good option in cities where there are few places to park them and, in Hoboken’s case, they could even be susceptible to flooding in a bad storm.

Whether you’re in the city or the suburbs, Smith thinks rental assistance programs are the best solution.

“Because we can not only put people safe and secure housing, but we can help the economy in that area as well.”

FEMA has upped the amount of rental assistance it’s giving out by 25 percent because of the high cost of living in the New York Metro Area. But it’s still not enough to fully cover the cost of most rental units.

Smith says that’s not FEMA’s job.

“We’re not here to make people whole. We’re here to provide a temporary fix so people can get off the streets.”


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