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Red Cross Support for Move-In Assistance for Sandy Survivors

Carmen and Tom in their new home in Island Park.

After Superstorm Sandy destroyed their home, Thomas Carr and Carmen Torres were able to move into a new home on Island Park with help from the Move-In Assistance program.

To date, 2,419 households have received $12.2 million in Sandy move-in-assistance from the Red Cross.

The American Red Cross Move-In Assistance Program, one of many ways we help Sandy survivors, provides financial assistance for a range of housing-related expenses, including rent, building supplies, temporary housing, storage and moving costs, appliances and furniture. To date, 2,419 households have received $12.2 million in Sandy move-in-assistance from the Red Cross. We fully expect our spending to more than double as more people find housing to move into throughout the next year and through continued outreach to people by the Red Cross and our partners.

Our guidelines have remained consistent since the program's start in December, although we extended the Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) residency timeframe to May in recognition of that program's duration. We are reviewing the names of those who signed the petition to determine how much Red Cross assistance they received and what more can be done within the guidelines we established to ensure we’re spending our donors’ dollars wisely and reaching those hardest-hit by the storm.

Move-In Assistance Program funding can cover up to $10,000 in expenses per household, but since each household's needs are different, not every family receives the same amount.


At the request of FEMA and other government partners, the Move-In Assistance Program provides assistance to people whose primary homes were destroyed or made uninhabitable by Sandy. In addition to loss of the primary home, people are eligible for this program if they meet one of three additional criteria:

  • The person lived in a TSA hotel or transitional housing unit after December 17, 2012, or
  • The person received a FEMA maximum grant ($31,900) and has additional needs, or
  • The person is ineligible to apply for federal assistance.
  • Household needs are assessed on a case-by-case basis by trained case managers. We are open to requests for exceptions to the eligibility guidelines because we realize individual circumstances may vary. If someone whose home was severely damaged by Sandy wants to be considered for an exception, he or she should contact our offices and speak with a member of our staff.

    If people are not eligible for the Move-in-Assistance program, Red Cross case managers help people apply to other sources of financial assistance, such as the Governor's Fund or through the Unmet Needs Roundtables. The Red Cross just made a $2.9 million grant to the NYC Unmet Needs Roundtable and a $1 million grant to the Unmet Needs Roundtable assisting Long Island Sandy survivors.

    With scarce housing options, finding places to live after a storm with as much widespread devastation as Sandy takes time, and we understand this is frustrating. But however long it takes, the Red Cross will be there to help those in need, and we will spend our donors dollars wisely where they can do the most good.