Nightly News | December 12, 2012
>>> again tonight we check in on those who are left with nothing as the holidays approach. the storm victims from sandy, six weeks ago now, including the family staying with family and friends , and those staying in motels like the family we're about to meet. nbc's catty tur is in hazlet, new jersey, exit 117 off the garden state parkway .
>> reporter: so many families are desperate to get back in their homes. they're just not livable. that's why there are a lot of people in hotels like this, paying for them with fema vouchers. but it's just not the same.
>> okay, here, put this in the closet.
>> reporter: mom and son and the hamster in one room. grandma and grandpa, cat rainbow and the dog down the hall. for the last six week, this holiday inn has been home. just don't call it that.
>> my grandpa gets mad when you call it home 'cause it's not. it's two beds to sleep in. it's a warm roof.
>> reporter: sandy ruined their actual home in union beach . now, like nearly 2,700 other displaced new jersians, life in a hotel is the normal.
>> every day, it's the same routine. work, pick him up, back to the room.
>> reporter: fema and state officials warn the housing need in new jersey would be vast and dynamic. it estimates there are just 6,000 rental plots available across the state. today, fema said there are nearly 10,000 who require alternate housing.
>> where would you put it?
>> the side of my home.
>> reporter: this congressman has been demanding fema set up trailers directly on homeowner's property while they rebuild.
>> motels are full. the rental units are full. the shelters are closed. and i don't see any other option.
>> reporter: fema says by law they can't put mobile homes in high-risk flood plains . so existing trailer parks are the only option. unless homeowners rent their own trailer. it's a lot of red tape for families, who just want to get back to their old normal.
>> unsafe for human occupancy. it's very emotional because of my grandchildren. i just want him to be here for christmas .
>> reporter: and not decorating a pint-sized fake tree in a holiday inn .
>> i really want a trailer. that's really what i want for christmas .
>> reporter: the lemkos learned today they will be able to stay in the hotel for another two weeks. the vouchers were extended. there will be thousands living in hotels for christmas . they do expire on the 26th, though, which means they all need to be out. as of now, by the 27th. brian.
>> family hoping for a trailer for christmas .