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A Guide to Finding Post-Storm Short-Term Rentals in NYC

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While power may be restored to lower Manhattan tomorrow, many residential buildings will still be without power for weeks because their own electrical equipment was damaged. In the outer boroughs, buildings in Red Hook are still suffering, and hundreds of people lost homes in Staten Island and Rockaway, Queens. Looking for a short-term rental can be a stressful, daunting task, especially in the wake of a hurricane, so we did some preliminary research to help ease the process of finding a temporary place to stay. There are thousands of apartments around the city that are offering short term rentals, with many giving steeply discounted prices (some are even free!) to victims displaced by Sandy. Short-term rental tips and other resources are welcome in the comments.

Airbnb has created a special section for "Discounted Sandy Listings" where fees for hosts are waived. The section currently has 78 listings, ranging from completely free to $170 a night. Quite a few are priced at $10 a night, and most hover around $50-$70. Be sure to click on any listing that interests you, because even if the listing says $75, many have edited the descriptions to say they will host storm victims for free. Brooklyn has the most offerings, but Queens, Manhattan, and even Jersey City also have rentals.

This site has a similar set-up to Airnb, but it doesn't looks like Roomorama is hosting any type of post-Sandy discount. That said, there are nearly 1400 listings available in neighborhoods that have power?the site lets you sort by neighborhood, which is extremely helpful in easily eliminating areas without electricity or with flood damage. Upper Manhattan alone has more than 1000 listings. The pricing spectrum ranges pretty wildly from $1 to a whopping $2650, but around 660 of the listings in Upper Manhattan fall within $35 to $240 per night. has more search options than Roomorama, but the site is a little clunky. You can select lease durations from less than one week to several months, you can choose whether you want the place furnished, and set a max weekly rent limit. We kept it practical for storm victims, choosing furnished places that are available for one to four weeks, with a max weekly rent of $1250. We also limited our location to only neighborhoods in Manhattan that have power, and more than 200 options came up. Some have roommates, and many have daily rates as well.

Many real estate companies are more than willing to help their clients find short term rentals. The Real Deal reports that Fillmore Real Estate is using their social media networks to help locate available rooms, and Elliman is in the process of "adding a short-term rental feature on our website to help storm victims in all the regions we service." Most companies do not have any information currently posted on their websites, so the best suggestion is to contact your broker or neighborhood real estate agency. On another note, many firms are opening their offices as warm places for storm victims to use the internet, phone, and bathroom.
Vacation rental website Homeaway has more than 260 available sites in Manhattan starting this weekend. We capped the cost at $3000 per week, but there are more than twice as many options for those willing to spend more (prices go above $10,000 per week). You can sort by neighborhood, and many places have daily rates. Brooklyn also has about 50 listings for less than $3K a week.

Obviously, Craiglist can be tricky, with plenty of scammers posting illegal short-term rentals, but a quick search turned up several legit listings for post-Sandy short-term rentals, including one from Nestseekers. shows 53 establishments in New York City with availability starting today. Prices for shared rooms start as low as $25, and there are private rooms available for $28.75. While it seems like there are a lot of options here, some of these places are clearly located within sections of the city that are still without power (like this place in Chinatown). Given that is a third-party site, you should try to contact any establishment before making a reservation. Or better yet, stick to the neighborhoods that definitely have power, like Upper Manhattan, which has dozens of hostels.