Legal Victory! Court Blocks City from Ending Hotel Program for Hundreds of Sandy Survivors

In a significant victory for hundreds of Hurricane Sandy survivors, yesterday a New York State Supreme Court justice ruled that the City must continue to provide hotel assistance beyond May 31st to the nearly 400 households still displaced by Hurricane Sandy.

In her decision, Justice Margaret A. Chan said that it “does not seem reasonable” to end the hotel program just as millions in federal aid are being disbursed specifically to help low-income evacuees in hotels.

Both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times reported today that the City would appeal the decision. The Journal reported:

Justice Chan’s ruling followed a lawsuit filed in April by five women made homeless by the Oct. 29 storm. They said they had received little assistance and few housing options from unprepared caseworkers. The plaintiffs also argued the city had given inadequate termination notices and failed to advise them of their rights to protest the evictions.

“We hope the city will now implement the rental voucher program quickly. We want our clients moved out of the hotels,” said Joshua Goldfein, a Legal Aid attorney. “That’s all we want.”

Indeed, the City must now use the newly-approved rental vouchers to ensure that all displaced individuals and families can move into secure and affordable housing without the trauma of a second displacement.

We’d like to thank the Legal Aid Society and Weil, Gotshal and Manges for their amazing work on behalf of these displaced families.

Read the full decision here.