NY1 For You: Rockaways Renters Finally Get Their Storm-Damaged Home Repaired
A disabled mother and her son who feared they were going to lose their rented home in the Rockaways following Hurricane Sandy are now getting some repairs and extra help, after they turned to NY1 for help. NY1's Susan Jhun filed this NY1 For You follow-up report.
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Raymond Hawson and his disabled mother Lorraine struggled to get by for months in their rented house on the Rockaways without power or heat, after Hurricane Sandy.
"I'm in daily pain, and to make matters worse, I'm confined to the house since I lost my wheelchair in the flood," says Lorraine Hawson.
"My mother is disabled. I worry about her every day and we are beyond the point of stress," says Raymond Hawson.
The Hawsons' situation, which NY1 first reported on last month, became worse when the uninsured renters' landlord said he could not afford to make repairs and intended to sell the house.
"That just left us completely, utterly stunned," says Raymond Hawson.
"It's just not fair that he does this. I'm very surprised," says Lorraine Hawson.
When NY1 For You first contacted the landlord, he told the station he had no choice but to sell the house. He said FEMA denied him assistance because it is not his primary residence and he did not qualify for the city's emergency repair program, Rapid Repairs.
After reapplying to the program, NY1 got the landlord to contact the city again. He then said an inspector came out and approved the house for critical repairs.
The Hawsons now tell NY1 they have heat back on in their house, and after NY1 contacted the Center For Independence of the Disabled in New York, they helped Lorriane get a replacement wheelchair.
It is bringing some relief to these long-suffering renters.