For displaced families looking for a new place to live, a group of rental communities is offering one month free rent for those who lost their homes as a result of last week's devestating storm.
A spokesman for Heatherwood Communities, which has 16 locations throughout Suffolk County and one more in Nassau, said it currently has close to 200 vacancies throughout its facilities that are open on a first come, first serve basis, particularly for families who are seeking a place to stay over a longer term.
"People have been completely devastated from Sandy," said Michael Spampinato, marketing director for the Islandia-based company. "So hopefully we can accommodate as many people as possible."
Spampinato said that among their 17 locations, the Town & Country apartments in Hampton Bays and Pinewood Village in Coram are both full, so any displaced families would have to find shelter elsewhere. Application fees would be waived as well.
In addition, he said, Men on the Move – a moving and storage company – is offering half off its services to any displaced family that signs a lease.
Estimates of the number of people who have been displaced as a result of Sandy have ranged from 10,000 to 40,000. On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered that individuals in the counties affected by the storm could vote from any polling place on state and national elections, allowing displaced voters the opportunity to cast a ballot on Tuesday.
A week following Hurricane Sandy's arrival, close to 200,000 Long Islanders remain without power, while folks on the south shoreline continue to pick up the pieces as temperatures drop – and another storm appears on its way on Wednesday.
Spampinato said that families looking to take advantage of Heatherwood's offer must produce some kind of proof from an insurance company that their previous home is uninhabitable. And while the company will make an attempt to help out all families, those who have been forced out of their homes for an extended period of time may be given priority.
Heatherwood has locations in Hampton Bays, Manorville, Moriches, Port Jefferson, South Setauket, Coram, Holbrook, Oakdale, Ronkonkoma, Farmingdale and Oyster Bay.
Interested parties can contact Heatherwood's leasing director at 631-878-2525.