Sandy hit low-income households, renters especially hard

The iconic images of damage from Superstorm Sandy mostly have been gutted Shore homes, including many posh vacation houses.

Applications to FEMA show Sandy had a disproportionate impact on low-income households, especially renters.

Enterprise Community Partners crunched the FEMA numbers together with New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Policy.  Program director Elizabeth Zeldin says Sandy hit low-income renters especially when it ripped through certain towns and cities including Atlantic City, Toms River, Long Beach, Jersey City and Hoboken.

“These are generally areas where there is not a lot of second-home ownership,” Zeldin said.

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Almost half of the New Jersey households who reached out to FEMA had annual incomes of less than $30,000. That included two-thirds of renters, who frequently don’t have insurance for their belongings.

“We’re going to have a lot of resources coming into the region from the federal government. So hopefully this is going to help inform some of the decisions as to where the resources will be allocated,” says Zeldin.

Overall, more than a quarter million households in New Jersey requested assistance.

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