FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, July 6, 2015


 

Trenton, NJ – The Christie Administration today announced it is proposing a $29 million increase in funding for the Low- to- Moderate Income (LMI) Homeowners Rebuilding Program to ensure all eligible applicants of the program receive grant assistance. The program provides up to $150,000 in reconstruction, rehabilitation and elevation assistance to eligible homeowners of limited financial means who were impacted by Sandy and whose damaged primary residence is within the nine counties the federal government determined were most impacted by Sandy.

 

 

 

In order to provide increased funding to the LMI Homeowners Rebuilding Program, the Administration is seeking to amend the State’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery Action Plan, which details the use of recovery funds to address disaster relief, long-term recovery, housing and infrastructure restoration, and economic revitalization in the most impacted areas. Action Plan Amendment Number 16, which was posted today for public comment, proposes allocating an additional $29 million to the $40 million already approved for the LMI Homeowners Rebuilding Program. There will be a 30-day public comment period for the proposed Action Plan Amendment during which time the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), which administers many of the State’s Sandy recovery programs, has scheduled a public hearing. The hearing will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on July 21, 2015, at Brookdale Community College, 765 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, Monmouth County. DCA will formally respond to all public comments received and will then submit the proposed amendment to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for approval,

 

"The LMI Program was launched to assist those Sandy-impacted homeowners with the most limited financial resources and with significant rebuilding needs who did not apply for earlier housing recovery programs," said DCA Commissioner Charles Richman. "Because these families are among those who are having the hardest time recovering from the storm, we are committed to getting them the funding they need."

 

The LMI Program, which accepted applications from January 5 through March 20, is available to Sandy-impacted homeowners who:

 

 

 

 

         Registered with FEMA in one of the nine counties the federal government identified as the most impacted by Superstorm Sandy (Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union);

 

 

 

         Sustained more than $8,000 of Sandy-related damage to their primary residence;

 

 

 

         Have an annual household income equal to or less than the 2015 HUD income limits for 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) as determined by the county in which their Sandy-damaged property is located;

 

 

 

         Were the legal owners of the Sandy-damaged primary residence at the time of the storm and remain the legal owner;

 

 

 

         Had primary residency at the Sandy-damaged property at the time of the storm and continue to maintain primary residency at the property; and

 

 

 

        

Have the Sandy-damaged primary residence in one of the nine most impacted counties.

 

Applicants who met the program’s threshold eligibility requirements have been preliminarily approved for funding. DCA is urging them to complete and return a Right of Entry form and Duplication of Benefits Questionnaire in order to start their grant process. Because the LMI Program includes a federally mandated environmental/historical review of an applicant’s property, as well as an inspection to determine the costs to complete the repair and/or elevation of an applicant’s home, applicants must sign the Right of Entry form allowing State and Program representatives to access their property. Also, the Duplication of Benefits Questionnaire is required to provide baseline information the Program needs to complete a cost estimate of damage to the applicant’s home.

 

In support of the LMI Program, DCA conducted a comprehensive outreach and marketing campaign from December 2014 through the program’s application period to inform low- to moderate-income and limited English proficiency homeowners who were impacted by Superstorm Sandy about the program. The campaign included door-to-door canvassing, community events and meeting presentations, as well as advertisements on radio, cable TV, websites, mobile devices, social media, movie screens, billboards and bus shelters in an effort to reach Sandy-affected households still in need of rebuilding assistance.

 

More information about the LMI Homeowners Rebuilding Program is available at 

 

 

www.renewjerseystronger.org/homeowners/lmi-homeowners-rebuilding-program/. Action Plan Amendment 16 can be viewed in English and Spanish at http://www.renewjerseystronger.org/plans-policies-reports/

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CONTACT:
Tammori Petty or
Emike Omogbai
(609) 292-6055