New York City is trying to evict hundreds of people who lost their homes to last year's Superstorm Sandy from hotels — and nudge them into homeless shelters.
Municipal lawyers asked a judge Tuesday to let the city end the hotel stays by Oct. 1, The New York Times reported
About 350 people are still living in hotels nearly a year after the storm, and the Federal Emergency Management Administration is ending reimbursement this month.
The city says it can't afford to pay on its own.
The hotel program has cost the federal government $73 million since Sandy hit Oct. 29, 2012, The Times reported.
Sandy, the largest Atlantic hurricane in recorded history, devastated coastal areas in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, and those still in hotels are mostly renters who can't find affordable apartments, The Times reported.
"Right now what I’m doing is I’m basically camping out in the back of my station wagon," evacuee Thomas Reddington, who had to leave his hotel last week, told a CBS radio affiliate
Reddington said apartments are scarce in the storm-socked Rockaways in Queens.
"Apartments out here in Rockaway are not as plentiful as they used to be," he said, adding his car is a better option than a shelter.
"The weather is still nice and all that so I can deal with it," he said.
Nicole Neal, who's been living with her son at a Holiday Inn in Brooklyn, said she had just moved into an apartment when the storm struck.
"I’m not going to no more shelters — I’ve been there and done that," she said. "I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t want to think about it."
The city tried, and failed, to end the hotel program in May after most of the more than 3,000 people in hotels had returned to repaired homes or other permanent homes.
But now, city lawyers argued, "it makes no sense for the city to continue to house evacuees in hotels when they can be housed within the city shelter system for a fraction of the cost and can continue to receive the same support, services and access to programs they are provided while in the hotel program."
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