Department of Human Services | CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION ADDS $47.1 MILLION TO WORKING FAMILIES LIVING EXPENSES VOUCHER PROGRAM
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State restructures program to continue serving high volume areas
Trenton – The Christie Administration today announced important changes to the Sandy Working Families Living Expenses Voucher Program also referred to as the Sandy Homeowner and Renter Assistance Program (SHRAP).  Due to the substantial demand for SHRAP assistance, the State has dedicated an additional $47.1 million in federal Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) funding to continue the support for individuals and families still recovering from Superstorm Sandy.  The State has also set a deadline on new applications.  
 
 
“When we launched SHRAP, we understood that because of displacement during the storm, there would be households statewide in need of assistance and participation thus far has certainly borne that out,” said Jennifer Velez, Commissioner of the Department of Human Services, which administers the program through county-designated agencies. “We’ve had tremendous success getting SHRAP to those most in need.  This additional funding to the program is critical to help even more families.” 

To date, SHRAP has provided about $38.2 million in assistance with housing, utilities and household goods to nearly 15,500 residents, or 6,700 households.  Of that total, $31.4 million was disbursed to benefit over 12,000 residents in just three counties: Ocean, Monmouth and Bergen. The other 18 counties collectively spent approximately $5.1 million.

Based on the State’s analysis, the majority of program recipients live in seven of the most Sandy-impacted counties. In order to continue to meet the substantial demand, the State is increasing funds and imposing a cutoff for new applications. 

On Friday, May 30th, SHRAP offices in the 14 counties with the lowest participation will stop accepting new applications. Those counties are: Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Morris, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex and Warren. Individuals or households already receiving SHRAP assistance can continue to recertify at those locations. 

SHRAP offices in Atlantic, Bergen, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union will accept new applications through June 30th and also will continue to process recertifications. Initial appointments scheduled later than June 30th will be honored; individuals will be met and assessed for services.  To avoid waits in high volume counties, individuals can apply in any SHRAP office in the above-mentioned seven counties.

 

“We’re incredibly pleased that this program continues to serve as a financial stop-gap for so many Sandy survivors and allowed them to progress in their recovery,” added Velez. “I encourage anyone who may be eligible to apply now, before the deadline.”

SHRAP provides temporary relief to Sandy-affected households by offering support for costs related to: maintaining temporary housing while their primary residence is repaired/rebuilt; maintaining a primary residence for the household to return to when repairs and reconstruction are completed; and supporting housing expenses to those able to live in their Sandy-damaged home.

Specifically, the program provides assistance with current or past due rent or mortgage payments, current or past due utility payments and certain essential furniture and appliances.

For more information about SHRAP, go to: http://www.nj.gov/humanservices/dfd/programs/shrap/.

 
 
 
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