Seven weeks after Hurricane Sandy struck, entire neighbourhoods are still covered in rubble, homes are infested with mold, and hundreds of families remain without water or power.

In New York and New Jersey tens of thousands of homes are still uninhabitable nearly two months after Hurricane Sandy. It is similar in other parts of New York City.

Mold is a major concern. Many say they cannot afford to have their homes properly cleaned.

And according to the advocacy group Queens Congregations United for Action, about 11,000 residents in just one neighbourhood alone still have no heat, hot water or electricity.

Residents of Rockaways in Queens are still enduring power outages, and lack reliable heating. In addition, there are health risks associated with mold growth in homes.

Immigrant communities in Midland Beach, Staten Island, have also been hit hard. Many have been unable to apply for government assistance.

A survey by Make the Road New York found that one in three residents in hard hit areas of Staten Island and Long Island has suffered property damage.

Oakwood is a particular area of concern, and Red Hook Brooklyn is another area struggling to recover.

There has also been major infrastructure damage. For example, it is estimated that the Hugh L Carey Brooklyn-Battery tunnel needs $700m in repairs.

Long before Hurricane Sandy devastated the Northeast Atlantic coast, one scientist tried to warn authorities about the environmental dangers the region faces.

Hurricane Sandy was also presented as a great leveler between the rich and the poor, impacting both equally. But has that proved to be really the case?

Presenter Shihab Rattansi on Inside Story Americas asks what are the biggest problems facing the hardest-hit communities in the US after Hurricane Sandy.

Joining the discussion are guests: Aria Doe, the executive director of the Action Center, a community-based organisation in Queens, New York; Klaus Jacob, a geophysicists and author of numerous scientific and technical publications on the impact of climate change; and Joel Kupferman, an environmental lawyer and the chair of the National Lawyers Guild New York City Hurricane Sandy Task Force.

Source: Al Jazeera