The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

November 5, 2012

Where will housing be found for Sandy's victims?

(Continued)

"I'm all out of ideas. I'm dazed and confused," he said.

Relief agencies have been conferring with real estate agents in hard-hit areas like Belle Harbor in the Rockaways section of New York City but have found only a few vacancies, said Yisroel Schulman, president of the New York City Legal Assistance Group. And even if people can find apartments, FEMA payments for temporary housing may fall short in a city known for its expensive housing.

"In the short term, the government is completely ill-prepared," Schulman said.

It's unclear what plans the city, state and federal government had before the storm to deal with a housing crisis of this magnitude. But in 2007, the city Office of Emergency Management held a design competition for post-disaster housing if a Category 3 hurricane smashed the city and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

The winning ideas included building a six-story complex mounted on ship hulls; using debris to create provisional housing; and turning shipping containers into living quarters.

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