By Guelda Voien/The Real Deal

Staten Island homeowners who have struggled in the five months since Hurricane Sandy to get federal disaster assistance are being urged to be patient just a little longer: Help, their city councilman told them, is on the way.

The weary homeowners heard the plea Saturday [April 6] at a real estate forum, where city officials along with building and financial experts laid out options for relocation, federally subsidized mortgages, short sales and reconstruction as well as new FEMA construction guidelines for the borough.

City Councilman James Oddo estimated the money from Washington – for either selling or repairing storm-ravaged homes – would be coming in four to six weeks, sometime in May, if all goes as planned.

“It’s almost sinful, five months later, to ask you guys to have patience,” Oddo told the crowd at the meeting, sponsored by the Staten Island Board of Realtors.

For those hardest hit, the federal dollars should allow them to sell their homes to the government and move; homeowners who want to stay put will have to follow the FEMA guidelines, which limit how and where they can rebuild. READ MORE …