Important New Steps for Mitigation Funding
This document contains an important funding alert for residents interested in elevation or acquisition of their home as a result of Superstorm Sandy. Remington, Vernick & Vena Engineers is the engineering firm contracted by the Borough of Point Pleasant and is assisting the Borough in the aftermath of the storm. This information applies to residents who have previously signed up for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
As part of the rebuilding process, residents interested in participating in the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program filled out a form, either on-line or in person. The data contained within those forms is still valuable to the Borough; however, now that it has been determined by the State that the State will administer the HMGP funds – not the Borough. Therefore, a new process for participation has been established and should be followed by all property owners interested in mitigation funding. Property owners need to follow the guidance provided by the State (below) to ensure they are not excluded from mitigation funds.
There have been some recent developments of out the Governor's Office of Rebuilding and Recovery (GORR), regarding HMGP 4086 Mitigation funding allocations. The GORR has identified acquisitions and elevations thus far, as State priority projects. There are more decisions being made at this point, regarding both HMGP and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding allocations.
All acquisition projects will be run by NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Green Acres program, who will act as the sub-grantee for acquisitions.
All elevations will run through NJ Department of Community Affairs (DCA) state-run elevation process (combination of CDBG and HMGP funding). All residents who expressed interest in elevations, should contact and register with the DCA at: www.sandyhelp.nj.gov
The State has also set up two hotlines:
855-SANDYHM (855-726-3946) – for homeowners
855-SANDYBZ (855-726-3929) – for business owners
The website and hotlines should be able to answer any question regarding elevation.
Residents who require additional assistance are also encouraged to contact one of two, non-profit organizations that provide one-on-one support: Catholic Charities at 877-510-6762 or Operation Hope at 888-388-HOPE.
Now Available: Applications for reNew Jersey Stronger Housing Grant Programs
The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) will begin accepting applications for the reNew Jersey Stronger Housing Grant programs. The grants are designed to encourage homeowners to resettle in their primary residences and help them reconstruct, rehabilitate, elevate and mitigate their homes. There are two programs available:
Homeowner Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM): This program provides up to $150,000 for eligible Homeowners to repair, elevate or rebuild their primary residences in the affected communities.
Homeowner Resettlement: This program provides a $10,000 grant award to eligible Homeowners whose primary residence was damaged by Superstorm Sandy. This program requires you to remain in or return to Sandy impacted communities.
Governor Chris Christie has tasked the DCA with administering the $1.8 billion federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program to assist storm-impacted homeowners and communities. Of this total, $1.2 billion will fund housing-related programs.
Homeowners are encourage to apply for both of these programs. For more information regarding the reNew Jersey Stronger Housing Grant programs, including eligibility information and application instructions, please visit www.renewjerseystronger.org or call 1-855-SANDYHM (1-855-726-3946).
Whether individuals applied online, over the phone, or in person at a Sandy Housing Assistance Center, the State will ensure that all applicants have an equal chance to be selected through the process identified above. To accomplish this, the order in which applicants will be selected for processing following the end of the initial application period will be determined by an electronic random ordering process. In early July, applicants will be notified of their place on the list and whether they will receive an award out of HUD's initial allocation of funding. Anyone who is not successful in getting an award will be placed on a waiting list pending a future allocation from HUD. An announcement on future allocations is expected in September.
Applications will continue to be accepted after June 30, 2013, but these applicants will be processed only after all the most impacted homeowners from the first group have been served. For more information on the reNew Jersey Stronger housing assistance initiative, including details about the application process, determination of eligibility, and award calculation, visit www.renewjerseystronger.org or call the hotline number 1-855-SANDYHM (1-855-726-3946).
Locations and directions to the Sandy Housing Assistance Centers that are opening June 8 will be posted at www.renewjerseystronger.org as the information becomes available.
For additional information on both of these programs please visit this website:
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
On Tuesday, January 29, 2013, the President signed the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, providing $5.4 billion in additional funding to the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 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 billion of those funds to the State of New Jersey. In order for the State to obtain those funds, it must submit an Action Plan to HUD "detailing the proposed use of funds, including criteria for eligibility and how the use of these funds will address disaster relief, long-term recovery, restoration of infrastructure and housing and economic revitalization in the most impacted and distressed areas." The State has worked diligently to craft an effective Action Plan in a timely manner. The Plan can be viewed by clicking on the link http://nj.gov/dca/announcements/pdf/CDBGDisasterRecoveryActionPlan.pdf
The State of New Jersey is planning to allocate 70% of the $600 million CDBG Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation Program funds to low and moderate income households. Low and moderate income is 50 percent and 80 percent of area median income. The remaining 30 percent will be allocated to homeowners with less than $250,000 in adjusted gross income.
This program is administered by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. Information obtained from http://nj.gov/dca/announcements/sandy.html.