FEMA extends Sandy victims' temporary housing

Temporary housing for Sandy victims has been extended for 14 more days to March 20, federal and state officials announced Thursday.

The Transitional Sheltering Assistance program allows people with destroyed or severely damaged homes to stay in a motel or hotel and have the bills paid by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA said it will call eligible applicants about the new date.

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The extension was requested by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. "The state will continue to request such aid from FEMA as long as New Yorkers need it," he said in a statement.

The program has been extended several times as delays in insurance approvals of checks and other problems prevented Long Islanders from quickly rebuilding flood-damaged homes.

Providing temporary lodging gives people time to work toward going back home or finding new housing, officials said. Lodging costs above the authorized allowance and certain charges, such as meals and phone calls, are not covered.

To apply, register at DisasterAssistance.gov; by smartphone or tablet with the FEMA app or at m.fema.gov; or by calling 800-621-FEMA or 800-462-7585 for the hearing-impaired.

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