This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

For Sandy's Homeless, Lives Of Anxiety In Hotels

Diego, 37, is staring down $180,000 in repairs to her family's home in the Far Rockaway section of Queens. She was laid off from her job at Verizon last summer and is currently living off FEMA money and unemployment checks to feed her family and pay for daily expenses.

The family has been living in a blur of hotel rooms and short-term rentals since the storm. Her 61-year-old mother stopped showing up to work as a roaming public school nurse after the storm because the commute became too difficult.

Diego qualified for the maximum $31,900 lump sum allowed under FEMA's household assistance program, and the money is supposed to be used for home repairs and short-term rentals. Instead, she is using those dollars to pay for gas and tolls to drive her niece to school in their old neighborhood, pay the mortgage on their wrecked home and buy meals for the family of four.

"We're in a hotel. I can't cook," Diego said. "You have breakfast, lunch and dinner. What's happening is you're using that money to survive off of, day to day. We've had to order meals."

Agnes Ruggiero, 69, whose Toms River apartment was destroyed, has been told by FEMA that she shouldn't expect to remain in a hotel for much longer. She doesn't understand why she and others are out of housing options when millions of dollars are being spent to rebuild boardwalks in the tourist-heavy region.

"How could they start worrying about a boardwalk when all these people have no place to live?" she said.

At the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Toms River, which sits on a state highway leading to a barrier island that suffered some of the state's worst damage, a hotel manager said about 80 percent of the hotel's guests are in the FEMA program.

2 of 4

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,614.81 +215.14 1.31%
S&P 500 1,941.28 +37.27 1.96%
NASDAQ 4,419.4780 +103.4040 2.40%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs