Long Island

LI Woman Refuses to Give Up 9-Year Fight to Save Home Damaged in Sandy

NBC Universal, Inc.

A Long Island woman is running out of time to save the home she's spent years trying to rehabilitate since Sandy struck.

Doina Almazon's Hicksville house was gutted to the studs nearly nine years ago and finishing the job has been an uphill battle with the property locked up in legal fights.

"I was offered a buyback at the very beginning and my little one said, 'Mommy, I want to have a house,'" she said.

Superstorm Sandy caused a power surge at her house that damaged the boiler. Almazon was waiting for insurance money to replace it, but it didn't come in time. That February her pipes froze, damaging most of the house.

"Never in my wildest imagination would I think that I'd still be displaced after nine years. It destroyed my life. I don't have anymore pension money... because I was living off of that, paying rents, paying for storage," she said.

Almazon is suing her insurance company for the money to fix the house, but at the same time, her house was foreclosed and now the town of Oyster Bay wants to tear it down, saying it's not safe for living.

"I think it's because I'm a woman and they don't think I know anything," said Almazon.

Demolition was averted Monday as the town reviews the case.

“Although attorneys are reviewing the case once again, neighbors have endured this eyesore of a property for 9 years. While we feel terrible for anyone in this situation, the fact remains that the house was foreclosed upon by the bank after failure to make mortgage payments and pay property taxes," a town spokesperson said.

Almazon said she's appealing the foreclosure, but the town says the house is already on the auction blocl.

"I think this is taking our home, which is the only home I have. I'm struggling, my health has deteriorated and nobody should go through this," Almazon said.

It's not clear how much time Almazon has, but regardless of the delays she doesn't know how to come up with the $500,000 needed to repay the bank.

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