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Sandy Funding On The Way To New Jersey [AUDIO]

We know almost $2 billion in federal grants are slated to come to New Jersey for Sandy recovery, but once the dough arrives, then what?

John Moore, Getty Images

That’s a question on the minds of may who suffered damage six months ago.

Most homeowners are anxiously waiting to rebuild until they see the new FEMA flood maps and have a check in hand. It looks like the money will be here before those revised guidelines for flood elevations.

An 80 page document outlining the criteria has surfaced. According to the Governor’s Office and some local officials, most of the funding will come in the form of Community Development Block Grants.

In order to be eligible for the assistance, you must have filed an application with FEMA, the SBA and your own private insurance provider first.

Sea Bright Borough Attorney Pat McNamara
Sea Bright Borough Attorney Pat McNamara (Pat McNamara)

“What’s great about these grants is that it’s a ready-made system. No need to reinvent the wheel,” Sea Bright Borough Attorney Pat McNamara says. “This will allow the funding to come in a lot faster.”

“There are so many people waiting and feel stonewalled in these months since the storm hit. We have heard positive news about the next 10 to 14 days.”

The money will be released to the towns first and then surveys will be conducted that will assess individual needs. More than half of the funds in the CDBG program will have to go towards redeveloping low and middle income housing.

There are over nine counties and tens of thousands of people that are in desperate need of the money. There’s also been lots of uncertainty with how to proceed.

“We are grateful this is happening sooner than later. Each of the communities will be able to allocate the appropriate funds to those who need it,” Brick Township based architect Paul Barlo tells Townsquare Media News.

“We have been assured by the federal government that there will be more financial assistance coming as well. Think about this, the money won’t take too long to dry up. There’s lots of repairs and revamps to be had.”

A number of homes that were not in the dreaded V Zone didn’t have flood insurance. Those wiped out by Sandy, who are now listed on the FEMA maps as being in a revised area, could be forced to raise their properties and pay exorbitant amounts in fees and new insurance premiums.

On Tuesday, January 29, 2013, President Obama signed the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (HR152) providing $16 billion in funding to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program in order to help affected States respond to and recover from the severe damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.

On Tuesday, March 5, a notice was published in the Federal Register (Docket FR-5696-N-01) allocating $1,829,520,000 of those funds to New Jersey.

The Secretary of HUD made this the initial funding award based on data from FEMA and SBA, used to determine the areas of greatest need in the region impacted by Superstorm Sandy. It is expected that there will be additional allocations of CDBG-DR funds to New Jersey in the coming months and programs will be developed accordingly.

HUD, utilizing monies from just the initial federal allocation, the Action Plan would assist more than 26,000 homeowners, more than 5,000 renters and more than 10,000 businesses, as well as local governments.

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