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Temporary housing for Sandy victims extended

Temporary housing payments for Sandy victims has been extended for 14 more days to March 24, 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 to notify them about the new date. The extension was requested by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

"This extension . . . will give New Yorkers hit hardest by Sandy more time and a place to stay so that they can get back on their feet soon as possible," Cuomo 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.

People can apply at; by smartphone or tablet with the FEMA app or at; or by calling 800-621-FEMA or 800-462-7585 for the hearing-impaired.

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