Number of Sandy-displaced families unknown
Since Superstorm Sandy made landfall in New Jersey more than two years ago, the state has not been keeping track of the number of people displaced by the storm.
A statement from the Department of Community Affairs said there is no knowledge of a state or federal agency that is tracking such data.
According to housing advocates, including the Fair Share Housing Center, this represents a failure in the state's recovery effort.
"People have been basically lost by the state left and right," said Adam Gordon, FSHC staff attorney. "We cannot ask people to sit in trailers or sleep on their cousins' couches indefinitely."
The DCA statement noted it was easier to estimate the number of Sandy-displaced households in the first few months following the storm by relying on the amount of people requesting FEMA assistance.
"As time goes on, however, it is extremely difficult to track people, especially since FEMA funding winded down and since there became no way to count those who were/are living with family, friends or other accommodations," the statement read.
Gordon said the state can "turn things around" by learning to coordinate more closely with mayors and local organizations that formed post-Sandy and are dealing with the trouble firsthand.
"It may not be perfect, but it'd be a lot better than what we're doing now," he said.