Earlier this week on Monday, Governor Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio allocated $27 million in financial relief for undocumented New Yorkers who experienced damaging flooding during Hurricane Ida. The funding will be distributed by New York State’s Office for New Americans to New Yorkers who are not eligible to receive storm recovery assistance through the FEMA Individual Assistance Program or other means. To apply, call the ONA Hotline at 1-800-566-7636 and visit the Hurricane Ida Recovery section below for more information.
This week, I was also proud to join the New York Taxi Workers Alliance at their rally Wednesday night to demand true debt relief for New York’s taxi workers. Thousands of New York City’s taxi drivers were deceived into believing they were buying into a prosperous and better life by purchasing a medallion, but instead were burdened with hundreds of thousands in debt due to artificially inflated medallion prices.
Instead of protecting taxi drivers, the City government profited off of them, making over $850 million off of medallion-owning drivers, while drivers barely made enough to survive, were forced to file for bankruptcy, and some even felt compelled to take their own lives due to the insurmountable debt that they faced.
Earlier this year, NYC announced a $65 million taxi relief fund to help debt-burdened drivers restructure their loans. However, taxi workers believe that this plan was not enough, as it would still leave drivers in debt, with large monthly payments. The New York Taxi Workers Alliance is now demanding that the City take more significant steps to remedy this crisis and give taxi workers debt relief now.
The City has a responsibility to offer a city-backed guarantee to lenders to restructure the loans to terms that the drivers can afford and implement the demands made by the NY Taxi Workers Alliance. No longer should drivers be forced to choose between putting food on the table or paying off their medallion debt.
Lastly, I will be attending the Women’s March this Saturday in Westchester to demand that we protect reproductive rights for all. Marches will be held nationwide. Find one near you at https://womensmarch.com/. I hope to see the community there!
State Senator Alessandra Biaggi
Financial Assistance for Undocumented New Yorkers: Undocumented New Yorkers impacted by Hurricane Ida who are ineligible for storm recovery assistance through the FEMA Individual Assistance Program can now apply for financial relief through the state. To apply, call the ONA Hotline at 1-800-566-7636 or visit any of the locations below. The application period will close on Friday November 26, 2021.
The following organizations will provide assistance:
- Bronx - Catholic Charities Community Services, 402 East 152nd Street, Bronx, NY 10455
- Brooklyn - Chinese American Planning Council, 4101 8th Ave, 4th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11232
- Queens -
- MinKwon, 133-29 41st Avenue, Suite 202, Flushing, NY 11355
- Make the Road, 92-10 Roosevelt Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
- Staten Island - Make the Road, 161 Port Richmond Ave, Staten Island, NY 10302
- Nassau - Economic Opportunity Commission of Nassau County, 134 Jackson Street, Hempstead, NY 11550
- Suffolk - Make the Road, 1090 Suffolk Ave, Brentwood, NY 11717
- Westchester & Rockland - NeighborsLink, 27 Columbus Ave, Mount Kisco, NY 10549
Apply for FEMA financial assistance: New Yorkers may be able to receive funds for other uninsured or under-insured disaster-caused expenses and serious needs, such as repair or replacement of personal property or funds for moving and storage, or medical, dental, and child care. The last day to apply for FEMA assistance is November 5th.
Federal disaster assistance is not just for homeowners. It’s also available to eligible renters, and can cover such expenses as furniture, job-related equipment, vehicle repair, even disaster-caused medical and dental bills.
If you have renter’s insurance, first call your insurance provider to file a claim. Then apply with FEMA. If you are insured, you must provide FEMA with information from your insurance provider, which may include a settlement or denial. FEMA rental assistance is intended to cover the monthly rent and cost of essential utilities (i.e., gas, electric and water). FEMA grants may also be used for security deposits but not for telephone, cable or internet service.
The link to apply for FEMA financial assistance can be found here: www.disasterassistance.gov.
The phone numbers to call are 1-800-621-3362 and TTY 1-800-462-7585.
You will need the following to complete your FEMA claim:
- Social Security Number (SSN) OR the SSN of a minor child in the household who is a U.S. Citizen, Non-Citizen National or Qualified Alien
- Annual Household Income
- Contact Information (phone number, mailing address, email address*, and damaged home address)
- Insurance Information if you have (coverage, insurance company name, etc.)
- Bank Account Information (if you are eligible to receive financial assistance, the money can be deposited in your account)
*Note: You must provide an email address if you want to review your registration status online. If you do not provide an email address, you will be required to contact FEMA for any updates to your registration.