Route 4

New Jersey Recovery Resources

New Jersey Resources

Housing Counseling Agencies

Whether you are interested in buying or renting, housing counseling agencies are an important source of housing information, advice, counseling, education, and financing. In this section we will tell you how to locate the one nearest you.

HUD Housing Counseling Agencies

The easiest place to start is the website of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which is www.hud.gov or www.hud.gov/sandy.

  •  Look for the section “I Want to” in the middle of the HUD homepage.  Click on the link that reads “Talk to a Housing Counselor.” 
  • That link will bring you to a new page where you can click on a link to search for a housing counseling agency. You may also call 800-569-4287 for HUD’s interactive system. 
  • Click on New Jersey, and it will bring up a list of all the HUD-approved housing counseling agencies in the state, including a brief description of the services these agencies provide and their contact information. You can scan the listings to find the agency that is most convenient for you. National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling Adoption of the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling shows that an organization is dedicated to providing a high level of quality and professionalism that current and future homeowners can recognize and expect. High standards encourage excellence and help guide professional conduct and decision-making in the field. You can find an organization near you that has adopted these Standards at www.homeownershipstandards.org.

Working with an organization that has adopted the National Industry Standards gives existing and future homeowners the confidence that counselors/educators will: 

  • Provide their clients with correct and consistent information 
  • Represent a solid source of information to draw on before and after the home purchase.
  • Have the tools and knowledge to support their work.
  •  Have pledged to serve clients with competence, fairness, and respect 

The NeighborWorks® Network

NeighborWorks® America supports over 235 independent, community-based nonprofit organizations across the country known as the NeighborWorks® Network. These nonprofits provide valuable housing-related services in more than 4,500 communities in America. They are staffed by counselors who serve as advocates to families who already own their homes or who are interested in pursuing homeownership. Services include prepurchase counseling, financial fitness classes, default and foreclosure prevention counseling, affordable financing and a host of other products and services. To locate the NeighborWorks® Network member nearest you, go to www.nw.org and use the “Find a NeighborWorks® Organization” link located on the right hand side of the home page. You can search by your zip code or search the state of New Jersey.

NeighborWorks® Center for Foreclosure Solutions

The NeighborWorks® Center for Foreclosure Solutions (CFS) offers free counseling nationwide through its hotline at 888-995-HOPE (4673). If you are delinquent and facing foreclosure, its trained counselors may be able to help you develop a budget and spending plan that can get you back on track.

At http://nw.org/network/foreclosure/default.asp you can find links to locate a foreclosure counselor, learn about mortgage modification scams, and explain mortgage refinance and modification options. Also available are links to videos and other resources on what to do when facing foreclosure, how to prevent foreclosure, and other topics.

Finding Affordable Rental Units in New Jersey New Jersey Housing Resource Center (NJHRC)

Search for available rental housing on the New Jersey Housing Resource Center (NJHRC) website, www.njhrc.gov. Landlords throughout New Jersey are opening their available properties to Hurricane Sandy survivors. The site hosts information on available properties statewide, and the database is updated daily. Simply visit the website at www.njhrc.gov and click on “Find Housing” to get started. Or, call toll-free for housing information at 1-877-428-8844.

Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) and Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers

You can find a list of all the public housing authorities in New Jersey at http://portal.hud.gov/ hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/public_indian_housing/pha/contacts. Search for one that is in or near the area you wish to live in. These agencies typically administer both public housing and the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.

New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency

637 South Clinton Avenue

Trenton, NJ 08650

Telephone: 609-278-7400

Consumer Hotline: 800-NJ House (800-654-6873)

Website: www.njhousing.gov

The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) is dedicated to increasing the availability of and accessibility to safe, decent, and affordable housing to families in New Jersey. In some cases this may mean working with traditional affordable housing developments serving New Jersey’s most needy families. In other instances it is working with First-Time Homebuyers, senior citizens, and/or the disabled in our special needs communities. In every situation HMFA is committed to make quality housing available at costs affordable to New Jersey residents.

The New Jersey HMFA has assembled a list of housing resources for those New Jersey residents who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Visit the website shown above for more information.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available to residents throughout New Jersey who were living or working in New Jersey at the time of the disaster, and who are unemployed as a direct result of the damages caused by the storm. Most impacted workers may already qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance at www.njuifile.net. The federal DUA is a special program that covers many people who otherwise may not be eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance. If you are unemployed because of the disaster that began on October 28, you should FIRST file for unemployment insurance benefits through the state website www.njuifile.net. Claims registered online are processed faster. However, if needed, you may also file a claim by telephone by contacting the state Department of Labor’s Re-employment Call Centers at:

North Jersey: 201-601-4100

Central Jersey: 732-761-2020

South Jersey: 856-507-2340

Learn more about Unemployment Insurance and job search assistance. www.nj211.org/images/ HurricaneSandy/employmentdua.pdf

Get more information on related programs and services from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/wnjpin/wnjpin_index.html

Low-Cost and No-Cost Legal Assistance

Legal Services of New Jersey can assist with civil legal services for low-income people including housing, family, consumer, public entitlements, education, employment, and health care access. Please visit www.lsnj.org, or call 888-LSNJ-LAW (888-576-5529).

Disaster Legal Services provided for free by the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association, www.americanbar.org/disaster or 888-541-1900, is now available for survivors in New Jersey facing legal issues due to Hurricane Sandy. Residents who cannot afford to pay an attorney can call the hotline to request free legal assistance.

The type of legal assistance or counseling available includes: 

  • Replacing legal documents that may have been lost due to flooding  Life, medical, and property insurance-related claims 
  • Consumer protection matters, remedies, and procedures Mortgage-foreclosure problems
  •  Landlord/tenant problems
  •  FEMA creditor-debtor matters

Through an intake process, callers will be matched with a volunteer attorney who can provide assistance or general legal information. Callers should say that they are seeking legal assistance related to Hurricane Sandy. The hotline will be staffed during normal business hours, but messages can be left at any time.

The hotline is part of a long-standing partnership between FEMA and the ABA, and is administered by the New Jersey State Bar Association through its Mass Disaster Response Program.

Free legal services for nonprofit organizations are also available. The Pro Bono Partnership provides business and transactional legal services without charge to nonprofit organizations serving the disadvantaged — enhancing the quality of life in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Contact them for legal assistance on issues that your organization may be facing as a result of Hurricane Sandy, such as questions concerning employee compensation, real estate issues, or insurance coverage. Learn more at www.probonopartner.org.

Resources for Buying and Selling

To find real estate agents in New Jersey, visit www.njrealtor.com. RealSource Association of REALTORS® is the professional association serving more than 3,000 REALTOR® Members throughout northeastern New Jersey (Bergen, Passaic, Hudson Counties). RealSource also serves as a resource for buyers and sellers — offering valuable real estate information, tips, and suggestions, local market statistics and much more.

If you are interested in “for sale by owner” (FSBO) listings, look for print ads in the entrance of your local shopping center or search online. A few options for New Jersey that came up on a recent online search are listed below, but there are others as well.

www.forsalebyowner.com

http://www.homesbyowner.com/new_jersey

www.owners.com/nj

Finding a Contractor

www.homeadvisor.com

Home Advisor.com (formerly known as ServiceMagic.com) can help you find contractors to fit your needs. If you answer some simple questions about your building needs, at the Home Advisor website you can find a list of prescreened contractors.

New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety, Division of Consumer Affairs License Verification System www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/LVinfo.htm

This is a real-time system with access to the most current professional license information.

Altert:Creating a Healthy Home: A Field Guide for Clean-Up of Flooded Homes

This is a practical guide developed by Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., the National Center for Healthy Housing, NeighborWorks® America, and Neighborhood Housing Services of New

Orleans. The methods were tested on four flooded homes in New Orleans. You can download the guide for free at http://www. practitionerresources.org/cache/documents/54278. pdf or http://www.nchh. org/tabid/139/default. aspx?ContentID=158

Landlord Training

Landlord Academy

www.rentalpropertysystems.com/systems/

The Landlord Academy offers introductory and continuing education online to landlords and property managers.

The Property Owners Association of New Jersey www.poanj.org

The Property Owners Association of New Jersey, Inc. exists to bring together owners and operators of residential real estate, interested persons, and related industry personnel for educational and information sharing purposes. The organization is comprised of owners and managers of apartment units and other individuals who work in fields related to the housing industry. Online training is offered.

Faith-Based Organizations and Social Service Agencies

2-1-1 Search

www.nj211.org/hurricane.cfm

2-1-1 Search is a search engine that finds 2-1-1 call centers or other information and referral related sites in the United States. New Jersey 2-1-1 has compiled a comprehensive list of disaster response and social service providers organized by county.

Catholic Charities

www.ccnewjersey.org

Check with Catholic Charities for mental health services, information and referral, help with rent or mortgage payments, and assistance with a range of other post-disaster issues. See the website to find the Catholic Charities nearest to you.

Habitat for Humanity

www.habitat.org

Habitat for Humanity is responding to Hurricane Sandy by providing community clean up, emergency home repairs, rehab services and on-going support through Habitat ReStores which provides discounted construction materials and furniture. Visit the website for more information.

Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey (LSM/NJ)

3 Manhattan Drive

Burlington, NJ 08016

Telephone: 609-386-7171

Fax: 609-386-7191

Email: info@lsmnj.org

Website: www.lsmnj.org

Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey (LSM/NJ) is a faith-based, not-for-profit organization whose scope of services is broad. Each year LSM/NJ reaches out and assists more than 5,300 people — providing hospitality, healing, and hope to residents of New Jersey regardless of religious affiliation or background. As a mission-driven organization, we continually work to create new programs and build facilities to care for those individuals and families that require our help.

Red Cross

www.redcross.org/find-your-local-chapter

The Red Cross responds to approximately 70,000 disasters in the United States every year, ranging from home fires that affect a single family to hurricanes that affect tens of thousands. The Red Cross provides shelter, food, health and mental health services to help families and entire communities get back on their feet. Find your local Red Cross chapter by visiting the website.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army New Jersey Divisional Headquarters

P.O. Box 3170

Union, NJ 07083

Telephone: 908-851-9300

Fax: 908-688-4460

Email: nj@use.salvationarmy.org

Website: www.use.salvationarmy.org/use/www_use_nj.nsf

New Jersey has quite a number of Salvation Army locations. The best way to find the one closest to you is to look online at the website above, or to call the office of the New Jersey Divisional Headquarters. The area command office, listed above, either offers or coordinates the Salvation Army’s social services in their area.

United Way of New Jersey

www.uwnj.org

There are 25 United Ways in New Jersey. On the United Way of New Jersey website listed above, you can click on a link to find the closest United Way office.

Community Action Agencies (CAA)

www.njcaanet.org

Community Action Agencies provide a range of social services to help low-income individuals, families (including homeless individuals and families), migrants, and the elderly poor. You must meet income guidelines in order to qualify for assistance. In New Jersey, the New Jersey Community

Action Association is a good place to search for the CAA nearest you. While they vary slightly around the state, most Community Action Agencies offer: 

  • Housing (including weatherization)
  •  Emergency services
  •  Employment assistance
  •  Self-sufficiency
  •  Income management
  •  Education
  •  Nutrition
  •  Health

New York Housing Recovery Resources

Housing Counseling Agencies

Whether you are interested in buying or renting, housing counseling agencies are an important source of housing information, advice, counseling, education, and financing. In this section we will tell you how to locate the one nearest you.

HUD Housing Couseling Agencies

  • The easiest place to start is the website of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which is www.hud.gov or www.hud.gov/sandy
  •  Look for the section “I Want to” in the middle of the HUD homepage.  Click on the link that reads “Talk to a Housing Counselor.”
  •  That link will bring you to a new page where you can click on a link to search for a housing counseling agency. You may also call 800-569-4287 for HUD’s interactive system.
  •  Click on New York, and it will bring up a list of all the HUD-approved housing counseling agencies in the state, including a brief description of the services these agencies provideand contact their information. You can scan the listings to find the agency that is most convenient for you.

National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling

Adoption of the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling shows that an organization is dedicated to providing a high level of quality service delivery and professionalism that current and future homeowners can recognize and expect. High standards encourage excellence and help guide professional conduct and decision-making in the field. You can find an organization near you that has adopted these Standards at www.homeownershipstandards.org.

Working with an organization that has adopted the National Industry Standards gives existing and future homeowners the confidence that counselors/educators will: 

  • Provide their clients with correct and consistent information 
  • Represent a solid source of information to draw on before and after the home purchase
  •  Have the tools and knowledge to support their work 
  • Serve clients with competence, fairness, and respect

The NeighborWorks® Network

NeighborWorks® America supports over 235 independent, community-based nonprofit organizations across the country known as the NeighborWorks® Network. These nonprofits provide valuable housing-related services in more than 4,500 communities in America. They are staffed by counselors who serve as advocates to families who already own their homes or who are interested in pursuing homeownership. Services include prepurchase counseling, financial fitness classes, default and foreclosure prevention counseling, affordable financing and a host of other products and services. To locate the NeighborWorks® Network member nearest you, go to www.nw.org and use the “Find a NeighborWorks® Organization” link located on the right hand side of the home page. You can search by your zip code or search the state of New York.

NeighborWorks® Center for Foreclosure Solutions

The NeighborWorks® Center for Foreclosure Solutions (CFS) offers free counseling nationwide through its hotline at 888-995-HOPE (4673). If you are delinquent and facing foreclosure, its trained counselors may be able to help you develop a budget and spending plan that can get you back on track. At http://nw.org/network/foreclosure/default.asp, you can find links to locate a foreclosure counselor, learn about mortgage modification scams, and explain mortgage refinance and modification options. Also available are links to videos and other resources on what to do when facing foreclosure, how to prevent foreclosure, and other topics.

Finding Affordable Rental Units in New York

New York City Affordable Housing Resource Center

www.nyc.gov/html/housinginfo/html/home/home.shtml

At the New York City Affordable Housing Resource Center you will find information on all aspects of City housing, including renting an apartment, buying a home, and apartment maintenance issues. You can also find all of the City’s affordable housing lottery listings.

New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) www.nyc.gov/hpd

HPD works with its governmental, community, non-profit and for-profit partners to strengthen neighborhoods, increase the availability of well-maintained, affordable housing, and enable more New Yorkers to become homeowners. Contact HPD to learn more about long-term affordable housing options.

Alert: Resources for the Homeless

HUD: If you are homeless (or at risk of becoming homeless) you may find information on shelters and other resources at http://www.hud.gov/local/index.cfm?state=ny&topic=homeless

NYC.gov: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dhs/html/home/home.shtml. New York City provides temporary emergency shelter to every man, woman, and child who is eligible for services, every night. Contact the website above or call 3-1-1 to find shelters or homelessness prevention services near you.

New York City Housing Portal

https://mtprawvwhpdhl01.nyc.gov/NycHousingRecovery/Housing.html#home

The City of New York is committed to ensuring that every New Yorker affected by Hurricane Sandy has a safe place to live. If you are a NYC resident displaced by Hurricane Sandy, you can learn about housing options and register with the City of New York for help in finding interim or long-term housing at the New York City Housing Portal website, listed above.

If you have any trouble creating an account on this site, please call 3-1-1 to be connected to a person who can register you over the phone. The majority of the units New York City has posted on this website are income-restricted units (i.e. primarily for low- and moderate- income households)..

New York State Homes and Community Renewal

www.nyshcr.org

You can find assistance if you live in subsidized housing, including answers to frequently asked questions at the NYSHCR website. For help or if you have a question regarding a check you received in the mail for New York State Hurricane Sandy housing aid please call 1-855-NYS-SANDY (855-6977263).

Please visit the Lower Manhattan Borough Rent Information Office located on the 5th floor of 25 Beaver Street for a full listing of Borough Rent Offices or, on the Web at www.nyshcr.org/AboutUs/Contact.htm#ora

NY Housing Search.gov

Telephone: 877-428-8844

TTD/TTY: 7-1-1

Email: info@socialserve.com

Website: www.nyhousingsearch.gov

Funded by New York State Homes and Community Renewal, www.NYHousingSearch.gov is a free service to list and find affordable, accessible homes and apartments across NY. At the website click on the link — “Are you looking for housing because of Hurricane Sandy?” — to view housing options throughout the state.

Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) and Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers www.hud.gov/offices/pih/pha/contacts/states/ny.cfm

At this website you can find a list of all the public housing authorities in New York. Search for one that is in or near the area you wish to live in. These agencies typically administer both public housing and the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.

Websites Listing Apartment Rentals

NY1Residential.com is a searchable website for residential housing including rentals in NYC. The site is maintained by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) and lists consumer tips for how to buy and rent in New York City. Search for rentals in your area at www.ny1residential.com Rentals.com is a national database of rental properties. Search for rentals in your area at www.rentals.com/New-York

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available to residents who were living or working in New York at the time of the disaster, and who are unemployed as a direct result of the damages caused by the storm.

Most impacted workers may already qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance. The federal DUA is a special program that covers many people who otherwise may not be eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance. If you lost income or your job and live or work in the Bronx, Kings, New York, Richmond, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester counties, you may qualify for DUA. Those eligible can receive between $152 and $405 per week for up to 27 weeks while they remain unemployed as a result of the disaster. People who are small business owners or self-employed are eligible for this program.

Contact Information:

 Residents who have sustained losses can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362.  To apply: call the Department of Labor’s Telephone Claims Center (TCC) at 888-209-8124

or 1-877-358-5306 (if you live out of state), or apply online at https://applications.labor. ny.gov/IndividualReg/?showuib=true&LOCALE=en_US, or in person at a local DOL One-Stop Career Center or a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center.

Low-Cost and No-Cost Legal Assistance

Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association

Telephone: 1-800-699-5636

Website: www.americanbar.org/disaster

Disaster Legal Services provided for free by the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association are now available for survivors in New York facing legal issues due to Hurricane Sandy. Residents who cannot afford to pay an attorney can call the hotline to request free legal assistance.

The type of legal assistance available includes:

  •  Replacing legal documents that may have been lost due to flooding  Life, medical and property-related claims
  •  Consumer protection matters, remedies, and procedures
  •  Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems 
  • Creditor-debtor matters 
  • FEMA appeals

Through an intake process, callers will be matched with a volunteer attorney who can provide assistance or general legal information regarding their issue. Callers should say that they are seeking legal assistance related to Hurricane Sandy. The hotline will be staffed during normal business hours, but messages can be left at any time.

The helpline is part of a long-standing partnership between FEMA and the ABA.

LawHelp/NY (www.LawHelp.org/NY) is an on-line tool designed to help low-income New Yorkers solve their legal problems. At the website, you can access LiveHelp, a real-time, online chat service, in English and Spanish, that helps guide consumers to relevant legal information and free legal services. www.AyudaLegalNY.org, is the Spanish version of www.LawHelp.org/NY LawHelp/NY is the only comprehensive source of legal referral information in the state and includes:

  •  Over 3,000 “Know Your Rights” and self-help resources covering 15 areas of law 
  • Extensive links to social service, advocacy and government organizations, and information about the Court system 
  • Spanish mirror website and legal rights resources in more than 30 languages

Additionally, the website has a link to a Hurricane Sandy blog, “My New York Legal Help,” which provides legal news and information for low-income New Yorkers.

Legal Services NYC

www.legalservicesnyc.org/index.php

Visit the website above and click the link for “Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort,” to find an office and access a comprehensive Disaster Relief Legal Assistance Manual with information about Disaster Unemployment Insurance, FEMA, emergency food stamps, ADAP and Medicaid, and more. Legal Services NYC has also co-sponsored a training to prepare more than 250 volunteer lawyers to participate in disaster assistance clinics and other opportunities to provide legal counseling to affected communities.

If you are in need of assistance, please call the Citywide Sandy Recovery Hotline: 347-592-2411 between 10am and 3pm on weekdays.

New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG)

Telephone: 212-584-3365

Email: StormHelp@nylag.org

Website: http://nylag.org/units/storm-response-unit

NYLAG’s Mobile Legal Help Center is traveling to hard-hit neighborhoods across New York City, in particular Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island. In these boroughs, the devastation has been most profound, the legal aid infrastructure has been compromised by storm damage, and those in need have been isolated and unable to travel. For immediate assistance, contact NYLAG using the contact information above.

New York State Bar Association (NYSBA)

Telephone: 800-699-5636

Website: www.nysba.org

The NYSBA provides free legal advice to New Yorkers with legal problems related to Hurricane Sandy from volunteer lawyers. Volunteer lawyers will answer storm-related questions about insurance, real estate issues (landlord-tenant and other property disputes) and general legal matters, such as replacing missing wills and other documents. In addition, individuals whose applications for emergency assistance are rejected by FEMA will be able to speak with an attorney about how to appeal the decision.

NYC Pro Bono Center

Telephone: 800-699-5636

Website: www.probono.net/ny/nyc/hurricane_sandy

The New York legal aid and pro bono community is providing direct services to those most affected, including filing for FEMA and Disaster Unemployment Insurance benefits, answering immigration status questions, documenting and filing insurance claims, and addressing many other legal needs of individuals and small businesses. Pro Bono Net is collaborating with the American Bar Association, Legal Services Corporation, and the National Legal Aid & Defender Association on the National Disaster Legal Aid website (http://www.disasterlegalaid.org), where Hurricane Sandy resources and information are being posted regularly. In NY, please call 800-699-5636.

Resources for Buying and Selling

To find real estate agents in New York, visit www.realtor.com.

In New York City, www.NY1residential.com is sponsored by the Real Estate Board of New York and Time Warner Cable. The website includes real estate listings and consumer tips for buying, selling and renting.

If you are interested in “for sale by owner” (FSBO) listings, look for print ads in the entrance of your local shopping center or search online. A few options for New York that came up on a recent online search are listed below, but there are others as well.

www.forsalebyowner.com

www.homesbyowner.com/new_york/

www.owners.com/ny

Finding a Contractor/Home Repair

Community Development Corporation of Long Island, (CDCLI)

Telephone: 631-471-1215

Email: info@cdcli.org

Website: www.cdcli.org

CDCLI offers emergency home repair loans to residents of Nassau and Suffolk counties.You can receive more information by visiting the website above or via telephone or email.

Homeadvisor.com

www.homeadvisor.com

Home Advisor.com (formerly known as ServiceMagic.com) can help you find contractors to fit your needs. If you answer some simple questions about your building needs, at the Home Advisor website you can find a list of prescreened contractors.

Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City, Inc. (NHSNYC)

www.nhsnyc.org/

Provides direct emergency relief loans for the repair or reconstruction of homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Visit the website above for additional information and a list of borough specific telephone numbers.

NYC Rapid Repairs Program

www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/rapid_repairs.html

This program will send teams of contractors and City inspectors into neighborhoods impacted by Hurricane Sandy to make necessary repairs to damaged homes.

Altert: Creating a Healthy Home: A Field Guide for Clean-Up of Flooded Homes

This is a practical guide developed by Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., the National Center for Healthy Housing, NeighborWorks® America, and Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans. The methods were tested on four flooded homes in New Orleans. You can download the guide for free at www.practitionerresources.org/cache/ documents/54278.pdf.

Homeowners are able to sign up for NYC Rapid Repairs by going to www.NYC.gov, calling 3-1-1, or visiting one of New York City’s Restoration Centers. Interested homeowners will need a FEMA ID number, which they can get by registering at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, calling 1-800-621-3362, or visting one of NYC’s Restoration Centers (www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/dasc.html). The Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) Community Development Fund

Telephone: 718-961-0888

Email: info@aafecdf.org

Website: www.aafecdf.org

The Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) Community Development Fund offers an emergency home repair loan program ($5000 to $20,000) for homeowners in New York City. Eligible items to be repaired or replaced include damaged roofs, windows and doors, and boilers.

The Center for New York City Neighborhoods (CNYCN)/Neighborhood Recovery Fund (NRF)

Telephone: 646-786-0888

Fax: 646-349-1578

E-mail: NRF@cnycn.org

Website: www.cnycn.org/programs/nrf

Through its affiliate, Sustainable Neighborhoods, LLC., CNYCN is administering the Neighborhood Recovery Fund (NRF). NRF, an emergency fund sponsored by Goldman Sachs Gives, and created to provide financial assistance to homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy. Funds from NRF will be used to ensure that impacted New York City homeowners can access and/or maintain housing.

Eligible homeowners may receive up to $5,000 in either a grant or interest-free loan to cover certain expenses that are incurred due to Hurricane Sandy and not covered by FEMA. See the website for eligibility requirements, application instructions, and other program details.

The NYC Department of Buildings

www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/news/storm_update.shtml

The Department of Buildings will waive all application and permit fees for any work done on buildings damaged by the storm. Check the website for a list of helpful documents related to repairs and power restoration.

Consumer Tips for Hiring a Contractor

From the website of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

(www.ag.ny.gov/recovering-sandy):

While it is understandable that you may be tempted to hire a contractor quickly, you should observe a few basic precautions to protect yourself from a potentially costly mistake. Attorney General Schneiderman offers the following tips to help you in choosing a contractor:

  •  Be on the alert for scam artists.
  •  Be wary of anyone who shows up at your door unsolicited and offers to do home repairs. Nonlocal “storm chasers” may be difficult to track down if the work is performed incorrectly or if
  • there are other problems. 
  • Use a contractor with a name, address and contact number you can verify.
  •  Don’t fall prey to high pressure tactics; a legitimate contractor won’t pressure you to sign a contract and hand over a deposit on the spot.

 Never give a contractor a cash deposit before a contract is signed. Always do your homework BEFORE you hire a contractor:

– Ask for and follow up with references

– Ask the contractor for proof of insurance

– Check the better business bureau website, www.bbb.org, for complaints against the contractor

– Search online for any evidence that the contractor is disreputable

Home improvement contractors must be licensed in New York City, Suffolk, Nassau, Westchester, Putnam, and Rockland counties. Before you hire a home improvement contractor, use these links to check whether the contractor is licensed or registered in your county.

Nassau County: www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/oca/Licensing/checklist.html

New York City: www.nyc.gov/html/dca/html/licenses/license_check.shtml

Putnam County: www.putnamcountyny.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/

Contractor-Listing-September-2012.pdf

Rockland County: www.rocklandgov.com/departments/consumer-protection-weights-andmeasures/licensed-businesses

Suffolk County: http://apps.suffolkcountyny.gov/Consumer%20Affairs/ContractorSearch/ default.aspx

Westchester County: http://consumer.westchestergov.com/find-a-licensed-contractor

Faith-Based Organizations and Social Service Agencies

2-1-1 Search

A search engine that finds 2-1-1 call centers or other information and referral related sites in the United States. In New York, you can find a comprehensive guide listing disaster response and social service providers for Long Island (www.211longisland.org) and the Hudson Valley counties of Dutchess, Ulster, Sullivan, Rockland, Orange, Westchester and Putnam (www.hudson211.org). In New York City, call 3-1-1 for social service and other important information.

Catholic Charities

www.catholiccharitiesny.org

Check with Catholic Charities for mental health services, information and referral, help with rent or mortgage payments, and assistance with a range of other post-disaster issues. See the website to find the Catholic Charities nearest to you.

Habitat for Humanity

www.habitat.org

Habitat for Humanity is responding to Hurricane Sandy by providing community clean up, emergency home repairs, rehab services and on-going support through Habitat ReStores which provides discounted construction materials and furniture. Visit the website for more information.

Lutheran Social Services of New York

475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1244

New York, NY 10115

Telephone: 212-870-1100

Website: www.lssny.org/site/sandy-get-help

Lutheran Social Services of New York has launched Lutheran Disaster Response of New York, an alliance of Lutheran agencies responding to disaster. For more information see the website above.

Red Cross

www.redcross.org/find-your-local-chapter

The Red Cross responds to approximately 70,000 disasters in the United States every year, ranging from home fires that affect a single family to hurricanes that affect tens of thousands. provides shelter, food, health and mental health services to help families and entire communities get back on their feet. Find your local Red Cross chapter by visiting the website.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army New York Divisional Headquarters

120 West 14th Street

New York, NY 10011-7301

Telephone: 212-337-7200

Fax: 212-337-7299

Website: www.use.salvationarmy.org/gnyd

New York has quite a number of Salvation Army locations. The best way to find the one closest to you is to look online at the website above, or call the office of the Greater New York Divison Headquarters. The area command office, listed above, either offers or coordinates the Salvation Army’s social services in their area.

United Way/United Way of New York

www.uwnys.org

On the United Way of New York website listed above, you can click on a link to find the closest United Way office. You can also call 2-1-1 for information on the Hudson Valley and/or Long Island.

Community Action Agencies (CAA)

www.nyscommunityaction.org/findagencies.cfm

Community Action Agencies provide a range of social services to help low-income individuals, families, homeless individuals and families, migrants, and the elderly poor. You have to meet their income guidelines in order to qualify for assistance. In New York, the New York State Community Action Association is a good place to search for the CAA nearest you. While they vary slightly around the state, most Community Action Agencies offer:

  •  Housing (including weatherization)
  •  Emergency services
  •  Employment assistance
  •  Self-sufficiency
  •  Income management
  •  Education
  •  Nutrition