Far Rockaway Resident: 'This Ain't No Luxury For Us, This Ain't No Vacation'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Many victims of superstorm Sandy remain displaced, four months after the storm flooded out and destroyed homes.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, an alarming number of Sandy victims are too poor to move out of the hotels and shelters that FEMA is paying for.

Sandy significantly worsened the city’s affordable housing crisis, according to Brooklyn City Councilman Brad Lander.

“Seventy percent of the families who are still within the shelter system, within the hotels set up for Sandy relief are too low-income to afford even the existing low-income housing units and that’s the problem that we’re facing,” Lander told reporters including WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

Lander and advocates for the homeless have called on the city to request an emergency infusion of Section 8 vouchers through the federal Sandy relief fund.

Jerome Stevenson of Far Rockaway was displaced during the storm.

“We’ve been through a lot, we’ve been compliant with everything and we’re still getting put out. So we would like the help if we can get it,” Stevenson told Diamond.

The city leaders and homeless advocates joined forces to unveil their Blueprint for Post-Sandy Housing Aid at City Hall on Tuesday.

“We don’t want to be in these hotels. This ain’t no luxury for us, this ain’t no vacation. We demand affordable housing and we demand it now, that’s just the bottom line,” a Far Rockaway resident said.

The Coalition for the Homeless estimates that 75 percent of the 2,000 families displaced by the storm cannot afford to move.

“We’re therefore calling on the city and the federal government to use this opportunity to expand and create more affordable housing opportunities,” Giselle Routhier with the non-profit told Diamond.

The coalition has requested at least 10,000 vouchers be released to handle the increased need following the storm.

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