Low income renters hit hardest by Sandy
Low-income renters are in greatest need of Federal Emergency Management Assistance (FEMA), according to two new reports released this week by Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. and New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy.
The Furman Center report, “Sandy Effects on Housing in New York City,” focuses on New York City, while Enterprise’s “FEMA Assistance Analysis” examines the need for FEMA assistance regionally including in Long Island and New Jersey.
Enterprise’s report found that 45 percent of people requesting assistance in New Jersey following Hurricane Sandy report household incomes of less than $30,000 per year.
Of the 43 percent of people in New Jersey who are renters, 67 percent are low-income.
In addition, the Furman Center’s report found that 41 percent of New York City units impacted are designated as low-income, subsidized, rent-stabilized or Mitchell-Lama housing, and only one out of ten households are single family homes.
“Our findings clearly indicate that the people most in need of assistance were already most vulnerable prior to Hurricane Sandy, low-income renters,ˮ said Tiffany Manuel, vice president of Knowledge, Impact & Strategy at Enterprise.
“Unlike homeowners, low-income renters have fewer resources to rebuild and get back on their feet as they are less likely to have insurance that covers property damages.”
According to Furman’s Max Weselcouch, 55 percent of the storm surge victims in New York were very low-income renters, whose incomes are $18,000 a year on average.
Both groups said they hope the reports will help shape how municipalities decide to best meet residents’ needs and allocate the first third of the $50.5 billion of federal aid that have already been allocated.
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