© AFP Photo / Spencer Platt
A destroyed by Superstorm Sandy home is viewed in Oakwood Beach in Staten Island on February 5, 2013 in New York City.
Tens of thousands of Hurricane Sandy victims still remain homeless, desperately waiting for government assistance while fearfully anticipating the start of another hurricane season.
Some victims are living out of cardboard boxes, overstaying their welcomes at the homes of friends and family while their own houses remain demolished. Families remain separated, dispersed throughout the country as they continue to fight with their insurance companies for assistance that has never come. Businesses are shuttered, homes are overtaken by mold and piles of rubble litter the backyards of the houses that now stand empty.
Victims relying on subsidized hotel rooms could soon end up on the streets, since government relief funding is set to expire. Advocates claim there is not enough public and low-income housing to accommodate the hundreds who have relied on FEMA-subsidized hotel rooms for the past six months.
In the seaside community of Breezy Point, Queens, 2,400 of the 2,800 homes remain unoccupied. The neighborhood stands as a ghost town, illuminated only by the flames of the fire burning down the houses red-tagged for demolition.
"Insurance and the new building codes delay everything. It's like Breezy is frozen in time,"
Michael Sullivan, a resident of the seaside community, told the New York Daily News
And after six months of a gruelingly slow recovery, tens of thousands of residents remain homeless, dreaming of a normal life that they may never be able to return to.
"Some people are still very much in the midst of recovery. You still have people in hotel rooms, you still have people doubling up, you still have people fighting with insurance companies, and for them it's been terrible and horrendous," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, ahead of the six-month anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.