Sandy Funds Won’t Help Everyone [AUDIO]
Thousands of Sandy-impacted New Jerseyans remain on the waitlist for the state’s primary rebuilding grant through the federal government, but a bunch of them may be waiting for absolutely nothing.
By looking at the simple math, state officials and legislators can agree there’s not enough aid to go around.
The man in charge of the department that’s helping people rebuild testified before a state Senate panel Monday, providing a status update on the state’s first round of funding, and fielding questions from concerned legislators.
Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable told the panel 7,000 affected homeowners are still on the waitlist for the state’s Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) program. The state plans to serve 3,000 to 3,500 people on that list through the next round of funding, $1.4 billion that may not be fully approved by the federal government until May.
“That will leave a balance of approximately 4,000 on the waitlist,” Constable said.
Thousands of individuals have been moving through the program with the first round of funding New Jersey received last spring.
“My gut is we’re going to have some people that get nothing,” said state Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Red Bank), whose concerns were validated moments later by the Commissioner.
New Jersey’s funding stream will not stop with this second traunch.
Beck pushed for legislators, both Democrats and Republicans, to push New Jersey’s federal representatives on the issue.
Sandy caused $37 billion in damage to New Jersey, according to the governor’s office. An estimated $15 to 20 billion will come to the Garden State through the federal aid package.