IN THE NEWS - Free legal advice offered to Staten Island victims of Hurricane Sandy


    By Tom Wrobleski/Staten
    Island Advance

    on November 27, 2012
    at 2:44 PM, updated November 27, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Hurricane Sandy victims who are facing legal troubles
    as they rebuild in the wake of the storm are getting some free help.

    State Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) is teaming up with the New York
    Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) to bring a temporary legal aid disaster relief
    program to the Island.

    Lanza has arranged to bring NYLAG's Mobile Legal Help Center, a bus-like
    vehicle staffed with lawyers and equipped with private meeting rooms, to the
    storm-ravaged borough for three days.

    "The volume of issues is just exploding day-by-day," said Lanza, an attorney.
    "These are high-quality people, and great attorneys."

    NYLAG staffers are well-versed in Federal Emergency Relief Agency (FEMA)
    benefits and programs, he said, and will be ready to help Islanders handle
    storm-related legal matters.

    That can include helping Islanders file for FEMA claims and appealing denied
    claims, as well as handling bankruptcies and credit problems and
    disaster-related fraud issues.

    NYLAG sought the assistance of legal agencies that served victims of
    Hurricane Katrina in order to apply lessons learned in the wake of that disaster
    to better serve those affected by Sandy, Lanza's office said.

    Among other issues, attorneys can help Islanders with insurance claims;
    eligibility for housing vouchers; mortgage issues for affected homes;
    landlord/tenant disputes, and wrongful evictions.

    Lanza became familiar with the group during his days as a prosecutor in
    Manhattan, and NYLAG attorneys were on the Island three times earlier this year
    at Lanza's request, giving legal advice on a variety of topics.

    "I told them that I now wanted to do something Sandy-related," said Lanza. "I
    see this as an opportunity to shift gears. They know the landscape, and I know
    there is going to be a big demand for these services."

    The group receives $600,000 in state funding each year, money that Lanza
    helped secure and increase. That money will go to pay for the Sandy program.

    Assistance is available at the following times and locations:

    Friday, Nov. 30
    Lanza's Hurricane Relief Headquarters
    4212 Hylan
    Blvd., Eltingville
    10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Wednesday, Dec. 5
    Lanza's Hurricane Relief Headquarters
    Hylan Blvd.
    10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Friday, Dec. 14
    2271 Hylan Blvd.
    10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Appointments are necessary. Call 718-984-4073 to make an appointment.

    Storm victims can also call NYLAG's hotline at 212-584-3365 or email

    Publication date: 
    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 00:00