Monday, November 10, 2014

Assisted living residents asked to return Sandy aid money

From CBS New York:

Several assisted living residents in Queens received a shock recently after FEMA asked for reimbursement on aid given out following Superstorm Sandy.

Residents of the Belle Harbor Manor assisted living center in the city’s Rockaway Peninsula spent four months after Superstorm Sandy moving through a series of emergency shelters due to flooding at the facility.

Now, the Federal Emergency Management Agency wants at least a dozen of those disabled, elderly and mostly poor residents to return thousands of dollars in disaster aid.

“We’re on a fixed income. I don’t have that kind of money!” said 61-year-old Robert Rosenberg, who suffers from a spinal disability and other chronic health problems.

FEMA said the money should never have been paid out since it was meant for temporary housing and instead the residents were moved from one state-funded shelter to another.

Following the storm, residents were forced to move to a huge evacuation center set up inside a Brooklyn armory, then live four-to-a-room at a hotel in a crime-plagued neighborhood, then to a halfway house on the grounds of a partly abandoned psychiatric hospital in Queens, where they bunked on cots and were barred from having visitors in their rooms.


Anonymous said...

What does the fact that they are on fixed incomes have to do with anything? They were given monetary assistance for housing and only stayed in housing provided by the government. Did they think they were getting some sort of gift prize because of the storm? Pay it back! Also, why has it taken so long to determine it was paid out in error? You don't get to keep it.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see any document they signed that stipulated (a) the only legal uses of the money and (b) an obligation to pay it back.

In any case, these people are likely have to NO assets that can be seized when a judgment is issued on these claims.

To pursue this is a waste of everyone's time.

Anonymous said...

I love the part where they are told by FEMA workers," you do not have to pay this money back.It is a gift from Obama".

I had a good laugh over that. Papa Obama took care of everything but was too scared to go to Rockaway after Sandy.

FEMA's next course of action should be to sue the landlords to recoup the money. The landlords were negligent in not rushing to provide alternate accommodations. Most likely they got big FEMA checks too. It was the landlord responsibility to house the inmates while the repairs were being done.

Anonymous said...

Wait! FEMA actually distributed some of the Sandy money?!