Plan Proposes Allocation of an Additional $1.46 Billion To Address Unmet Housing Needs, Infrastructure Resiliency Projects and Other Critical Recovery Initiatives
Trenton, NJ – The Christie Administration today announced that it has submitted its proposed plan for allocating the second round of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery funds to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for review and approval. The plan details how the state will spend $1.46 billion in federal CDBG Disaster Recovery funds to rebuild Sandy-damaged homes and rental housing; support the hardest hit and financially strained communities; purchase flood-prone homes; and finance infrastructure resiliency projects throughout New Jersey to protect the state from future storms. The Christie Administration submitted the plan to HUD on March 25.
“In the eleven months since our Action Plan was approved by the Obama Administration, we have made tremendous progress in helping New Jerseyans recover from the worst natural disaster in our state’s history,” said Governor Christie. “Without a doubt, we still have much to do. Families are still out of their homes and many communities remain in need of assistance. I thank HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan for his assurance of a quick review so that we can continue getting relief out to the many people who were devastated by Superstorm Sandy.”
In developing a plan for allocating the second round of CDBG Disaster Relief funds, the Christie Administration undertook extensive public outreach efforts. The Administration met with mayors and other local officials across the nine most-impacted counties as determined by HUD; held numerous meetings and conference calls with nearly 100 stakeholder groups and long-term recovery organizations focused on how to best use the second round of CDBG Disaster Recovery funds; engaged the Association of Counties, League of Municipalities, and the Conference of Mayors; and briefed key state legislative staff and staff of New Jersey’s congressional delegation.
Additionally, the state held a 30-day public comment period during which comments were submitted by email and U.S. mail. The state also hosted three public hearings in February - one each in the state’s southern, central and northern regions - in order to give residents the opportunity to provide public comment. Hundreds of public comments from residents, local and state elected officials, long-term recovery groups and other stakeholder organizations were received. The proposed plan submitted to HUD includes a summary of all public comments received and the state’s responses to the comments. The state has modified the proposed plan, as initially proposed for public comment, based on the input provided and in consultation with HUD.
HUD has up to 60 days to approve the proposed plan. Given the timeline for federal approval, the state expects to receive access to the funds for relief programs by late spring.
Because the state’s housing needs remain substantial, the Christie Administration is proposing to spend $775 million of second round CDBG Disaster Recovery funds to support Sandy-impacted homeowners and renters. The plan also proposes a $500 million investment in infrastructure in recognition of the fact that Sandy’s storm surge and flooding highlighted vulnerabilities in the state’s transportation, energy, flood prevention and water infrastructure systems.
“We’ve heard the comments from affected residents and stakeholder representatives, and we understand their frustration with the pace of the recovery effort. Notwithstanding the limited federal funds, the state is working quickly to expedite the process, where possible, and to get families and communities back to normal,” said New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable III, whose department administers the distribution of CDBG Disaster Recovery funds for the state. “The $1.46 billion in additional federal funding is another step in the right direction.”
For the second allocation, the Christie Administration is proposing to spend $775 million on housing assistance programs, of which $490 million is projected to assist low-to-moderate-income families. The plan calls for:
Additionally, the proposed plan would commit $500 million to the following infrastructure programs:
Finally, the state is proposing to continue to encourage economic development and to support hard hit, financially strained municipalities:
CDBG Disaster Recovery funds are intended to support local rebuilding efforts after private insurance, FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), or other available sources of funds have been applied. HUD also requires that 50% of the funding benefit low-to-moderate-income households. In New Jersey, HUD further mandates that 80% of the CDBG Disaster Recovery dollars be spent in the nine most-impacted counties, which include Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union counties.
DCA will make the second round Action Plan available in English and Spanish on the DCA’s website in early April upon completion of the Spanish translation.
# # #