It’s Getting Cold for the 40,000 New Yorkers Left Homeless After Hurricane Sandy

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A shelter in Atlantic City, New Jersey. October 30, 2012.Photo: null/Zhang Jun/Xinhua Press

Andrew Cuomo and national relief organizations are open to all options when it comes to housing the tens of thousands of New Yorkers left homeless after Hurricane Sandy, especially with temperatures dropping and an insult-to-injury nor'easter on its way. FEMA trailers, for instance: "There are some local governments that will want trailers. Many communities on Long Island use trailers during situations like this. And they're frequently seen," the governor said yesterday. "So some communities, it's going to be a community by community option."

Although much of New York City is on the upswing a week later, there are 115,000 people still without power in the five boroughs, and more than 1.4 million homes and business in the dark statewide. Of the 40,000 people suddenly homeless, ABC News reports, about half are residents of public housing. 

"We're in the process of looking at all options for housing," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Monday. "Given the extent of the housing need, no option is off the table." FEMA has spent $200 million so far in emergency housing assistance, with 34,000 people from New York and New Jersey placed in hotels and motels. "Still," ABC notes, "city and state officials have not laid out an official plan with specifics to move the homeless into long-term housing in an already congested area."

"It's starting to get cold," Cuomo said over the weekend. "People are in homes that are uninhabitable. It's going to become increasingly clear they are uninhabitable when the temperature drops and the heat doesn't come on." Snow will only make things worse, so they better act fast.

Update: The good news is, "Computer models shifted east with the path of the nor'easter, predicting the storm would miss a good part of far northwest New Jersey, the Catskills and the Poconos and carry far less forceful wind gusts than first forecast." But: "Temperatures on Tuesday night are expected to dip into the 20s in suburban areas. Forecasters expect temperatures to linger in the 30s Wednesday."