NJ Sandy Refugees Scramble for Housing

By Brian Thompson
|  Monday, Jan 28, 2013  |  Updated 9:26 AM EDT
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NJ Sandy Refugees Scramble for Housing

About 100 homeless Sandy refugees in New Jersey were left without a place to stay for several hours Saturday as a FEMA housing program appeared to run out on them.

At one point, they were being told to shelter at a church in Brick Township where volunteers were trying to find replacement accommodations for them.

NBC 4 New York has learned that when Gov. Chris Christie learned of the situation, he ordered his Department of Community Affairs to work with FEMA to place them in alternate motel rooms.

"We're not going to let people be out on the street," said DCA Commissioner Richard Constable.

On Friday night, a FEMA spokesman said a two-week extension to the Transitional Shelter Assistance program had been granted, but that some of the 1,500 or so families still sheltering in motels probably would not be notified until Saturday morning, just before they would have been forced to check out.

The hundred or so who ended up losing their motel rooms never got word Saturday morning they could have stayed, according to Constable, and that's when the state jumped in.

Working with FEMA, the families were finally contacted by late Saturday afternoon or early evening, and all were placed in new motel rooms, where they can stay for the next two weeks.

"All families who were displaced were relocated by Saturday night," Constable said.
 

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