By Oren Liebermann
BRIGANTINE, N.J., (CBS) – Summer rentals are going fast in beach towns like Brigantine, one week before tourists flock to the shore for Memorial Day. But for towns still recovering from Sandy, the surge in summer business isn’t all good news.
“It’s been a rough road,” says Nickie Ridenour of Brigantine. “It’s been ‘When are we going home again?’ and ‘When is the broken house going to be fixed?’”
Ridenour and her family had been out of a house since Sandy forced them out in October. They had been staying in a seasonal rental, paying only utilities, until the homeowner told them they had to go.
“He’s got to afford that house. He has to do his summer rentals,” says Toni Ridenour, Nickie’s mother and a realtor on the island.
As homeowners get rentals ready for summer, families displaced by Sandy have to move once again, out of the rentals, to make way for the tourism dollars that drive the resort economy.
“I have so many people looking for rentals. We need rentals. Year-round. Seasonal. Furnished. Unfurnished. There’s people staying in hotel rooms,” says Ridenour.
Nickie Ridenour considers herself lucky. She was able to find a place to stay, moving in just this week.
“It’s a new house, new home, new neighborhood, but we’re still on the island,” says Nickie while smiling.
Many families are searching, waiting for homes that are still being repaired or being lifted in flood zones. When summer comes to the Jersey Shore, it will not be a season to celebrate for everyone.