FEMA: $320M housing aid OKd for LI so far

The front yard of a home on Waukena

The front yard of a home on Waukena Avenue in Oceanside was taken up by a pile of discarded furniture and other items that were ruined by superstorm Sandy. (Nov. 13, 2012) (Credit: Brittany Wait)

About 45,000 Long Island property owners or renters have been approved for almost $320 million in federal aid since superstorm Sandy hit seven weeks ago, officials said Monday.

In Nassau, more than 72,000 applicants have sought assistance, with 36,000 eligible homeowners and renters so far qualified for a little more than $260 million in rental assistance, home repairs and other reimbursement for needs such as personal property or vehicle repairs or medical costs related to the disaster.

The money, grants that do not need to be repaid, is capped at $31,900 per household.

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In Suffolk, 26,700 applicants registered and about 8,700 households qualified for $59 million, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said.

Statewide, $792 million has been approved under FEMA's Individual & Households Program, spokesman John Mills said. In New Jersey, 53,809 applicants have been approved for $304.7 million.

Mills urged Long Islanders to stay in touch with FEMA and keep their contact information updated via its website, by calling 800-621-3362 or visiting one of 10 disaster-recovery centers. People whose homes were damaged by the Oct. 29 storm have until Jan. 28 to register, he said.

"People's needs may be changing as weeks go by . . . whatever the circumstance, call FEMA because you may still be eligible for assistance," Mills said.

FEMA aid is primarily for the underinsured or uninsured, but some flood insurance policies do not provide temporary housing assistance and the deadline for that aid was extended until Jan. 12.

Meanwhile, representatives of the state's Department of Financial Services will be at Norwich Library, 89 E. Main St., Oyster Bay, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to help homeowners, renters and business owners with insurance-related issues stemming from damage caused by Sandy.

The breakdown for FEMA individual and homeowners aid in other badly affected areas of New York City and Westchester as of Monday:

Bronx: $2 million approved for slightly less than 500 eligible applicants;

Brooklyn/Kings: $171 million for 21,500 applicants;

Queens: $202 million for 24,600 applicants;

Richmond/Staten Island: $81.4 million for 9,200 applicants;

NYCounty/Manhattan: $11.7 million for 3,400 applicants;

Westchester: $1.1 million for about 300 applicants.

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