In September 2012, Patti Luo and her husband moved into their new home in Midland Beach, Staten Island. Unfortunately for the Luos—and for so many New Yorkers—Hurricane Sandy struck just one month later on October 29, 2012.

After the storm, the Luos struggled to recover from the storm’s destruction. Getting the insurance money they were owed was a long and arduous process, made even more so because the Luos also had to contend with a language barrier since English was not their first language. Luckily, they were aided by a skilled attorney at Staten Island Legal Services, one of the Center’s partners, who helped navigate a complicated process.

The Center and its network of housing counseling and legal services groups, like Staten Island Legal Services, are working to help low- and moderate-income homeowners across the city whose lives were upended by Sandy. Together, we have assisted over 3,600 families like the Luos to date. Our partners have worked to prevent foreclosures, to deliver and accelerate insurance and government benefits, and to otherwise make sure that New York families get the help they need.

Hear from Patti Luo and other homeowners in our report “Rising Tides, Rising Costs

But for the Luos, and thousands more homeowners across New York City, the challenges ahead could be as perilous as the trials they’ve already faced. Because of a change in federal law, those hardest-hit by Sandy are currently seeing their flood insurance rates go up by as much as 25%. Next year, they’ll go up again. Many homeowners could eventually see rates of $10,000 per year or higher.

So while we continue our recovery work, we’re also committed to building an equitable and resilient New York in the years ahead. There’s much more to do and we need your partnership.

In addition to our direct services, we’re helping to increase awareness of the risks of rising sea levels and rising insurance costs at our new website,, and in our recent report Rising Tides, Rising Costs. Help us get out the word by sharing by email or on Facebook or Twitter.

Thank you for supporting the Center as we work together to keep homeownership affordable in New York.