FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 1, 2018

The National Center for Law and Economic Justice (NCLEJ) wants to hear from people with disabilities displaced by Sandy who have applied for FEMA housing, particularly if their housing accessibility needs have not been met. Please contact Cary LaCheen at NCLEJ, 212-633-6967, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

People with disabilities displaced by Hurricane Sandy have a right to temporary housing that meets their accessibility needs! Under federal disability rights laws, FEMA, New York State, New York City, and New York counties providing temporary housing to people displaced by Hurricane Sandy must provide people with disabilities with housing that meets their disability-related needs. If needed for a disability, these agencies must provide temporary housing that has the following:

  • Course 1: Orientation to Supported Employment (September 8 -19)
  • Ramp with handrails at the entrance to the building and/or housing unit
  • Raised toilet seat
  • Grab bars around toilet, shower, or tub
  • Accessible (roll-in) shower
  • Bathtub
  • Bathtub with low sides
  • Bath bench or shower chair
  • Hand held shower controls
  • Rooms big enough for wheelchair and wheelchair turn space
  • Sinks, appliances, shelves, counters and controls reachable from wheelchair
  • Visual alarms and notification devices
  • More room for equipment (e.g., hospital bed)
  • All electric trailer (e.g., if the individual uses oxygen)
  • Extra bedroom for personal care worker or other disability-related help
  • Other accessibility features or accommodations

But FEMA's housing application process is not designed to identify these needs. FEMA asks only asks about a few types of disabilities and doesn't ask what type of accommodations are needed. As a result, FEMA may overlook accessibility needs.