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Suffolk: No takers for NYIT Sandy-refuge offer

The Bellone administration said there was urgent need for the county legislature to give approval to a Nov. 20 emergency resolution authorizing use of New York Institute of Technology dorms in Central Islip for superstorm Sandy victims.

Ten days later, no one has moved in.

Deputy County Executive Jon Schneider said Thursday that the county had promoted the dorms’ availability -- even setting up a hotline for displaced residents -- but “a lot of it is that people don’t want to leave their homes.” He said that doesn’t mean the need wasn’t there – just that many people likely had already made alternate arrangements by the time the 130 dorms became available (three weeks after Sandy struck) or may be toughing it out in homes they shouldn’t be in.

One example, Schneider said, was an elderly man who discovered mold on his walls due to water damage, but instead of leaving, just decided to paint over the mold.

Since the agreement with NYIT came at no cost (the county simply had to take on liability), officials say that they’ll suffer no loss from a lack of demand.

In fact, Schneider said that the administration is looking to make the best of the situation by considering offering the Central Islip dorms to out-of-town insurance adjusters who had been unable to find local hotels.
 
“The irony is that people are staying in hotels because they can’t get insurance adjusters into their homes to conduct the inspections,” Schneider said, adding that more adjusters may come to Suffolk County if they know that there are more places to stay.

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