Families displaced by Ida facing possible move to homeless shelter as FEMA funding ends

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, February 27, 2023
Families displaced by Ida to be taken to homeless shelter
Dozens of families displaced by Hurricane Ida now have until Tuesday to move out of a Lower Manhattan hotel.

FINANCIAL DISTRICT, Manhattan (WABC) -- Dozens of families displaced by Hurricane Ida now have until Tuesday to move out of a Lower Manhattan hotel.

A FEMA program paid for the temporary housing until federal aid ended in December.

Floyd Wilson called the Millennium a home away from home after his basement apartment in the Bronx was destroyed by Hurricane Ida in 2021.

"I get up to get something to drink and stepped into water up to my knees," Wilson said recalling the night of the storm.

Wilson isn't alone, roughly 380 families needed emergency shelter after the storm.

The city Department of Housing and Development stepped in and set aside hotel rooms at the Millennium to act as temporary housing.

FEMA and the city paid a $1.4 million contract that allowed displaced families to stay at the hotel, but that contract expired at the end of February.

City council members previously called for an extension for families.

HPD told Eyewitness News that more than 310 families are now in permanent housing, but those without a place to go will be taken to a homeless shelter in the Bronx.

"That system is at an all time record high, the vacancy rate in the families with children facilities has been below 1% everyday since June," Kathryn Kliff of the Legal Aid Society said.

Cynthia Hicks is helping her nephew move to an apartment that took him eight months to find.

"He waited a long time to get where he's at, you have to stick with it to get it," Hicks said.

Wilson doesn't have a concrete plan yet. He did find another apartment but he says he can't move in yet.

"I'm waiting on the city to do the inspection so I can move in and not sleep on the trains," he said.

One thing he does know for sure is a city shelter is not an option.

I might as well go to Riker's then sleep in a shelter, if you keep it 100," Wilson said.

NYPD officers removed eight people from the hotel over the weekend that HPD said violated policy.

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