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S.I. Board Of Realtors Opens Up Its Online Housing Listings To Storm Victims

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TWC News: S.I. Board Of Realtors Opens Up Its Online Housing Listings To Storm Victims
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In the aftermath of Sandy, there is not much housing to go around, so the Staten Island Board of Realtors is teaming up with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and city and state agencies to make it easier to find on the Internet. NY1's Monica Brown has the story.

On Staten Island, real estate professionals are trying to expand access to housing for victims of the storm.

With the need of emergency housing rising, the Staten Island Board of Realtors is teaming up with federal, city and state agencies to make it easier to find.

The board's website (www.sibor.com) usually highlights real estate for sale but it's been revamped to take those needing a place to stay directly to a rental page.

It's a borough-wide database of one- and two-family homes, multiple dwellings and apartments of all sizes available for storm victims.

"We've reached out to our members and said let's find as many rentals as we can," says Sandy Krueger, the CEO of SIBOR. "Let's cut through all the red tape and get as many things out there as we can. And so we've got people calling, in some cases they're calling some of their 'for sale' listings that might be vacant and saying, 'Hey is it possible we can get somebody in there temporarily?' We've got people calling other websites, listings that on things like Craigslist."

As of Monday, there were over 100 listings on the site, but with so many people on Staten Island needing a place to call home, that is far from enough.

"The rental market was tight to begin with, before the storm hit, so of course it's even worse now," Krueger says.

SIBOR is asking landlords to consider dropping barriers for renters, such as "no pets" policies and poor credit scores.

"We've had a poor economy, some people's credit rating is not up to par," says Georgianna Diaz, the president of SIBOR. "I ask landlords also to consider that, find out why, maybe they've had bad credit or poor credit, find out references from them, maybe speak to their prior landlord. But do everything possible to house these people."

SIBOR's directors say they will be meeting with lawmakers to determine how to proceed with legal issues involving short term rentals.

To help and add a rental to the list, email hurricanerelief@sibor.com or call 1-718-979-0007.

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