Seniors at a Queens assisted living facility made homeless by Hurricane Sandy will not have to dig into their meager bank accounts to pay back federal disaster relief aid, lawmakers announced Tuesday.
About 30 residents of Belle Harbor Manor in Rockaway were driven to panic in November when the Federal Emergency Management Agency sent letters asking them to return funds because they were also reimbursed by insurance companies.
“I will sleep better tonight,” said Angelo Cantanzaro, who has lived at the complex for 10 years and was asked by FEMA to repay almost $2,500. “The poor people got a break.”
The residents had collectively received $108,598, with most of that money intended to cover temporary housing, according to data obtained through a previous public records request.
They were moved to different state-funded shelters, and they used the money to purchase vital items such as food and clothing.