$57M to help Sandy victims; Spencer cites ongoing problems

TRENTON – Sandy victims struggling to pay rent or mortgages could benefit from $57 million in aid made available.

The program is designed to help those who are living in temporary shelters and/or facing mortgage payments on houses in which they can’t live nearly one year after Superstorm Sandy hit New Jersey.

“As the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy approaches, many families working to recover and rebuild remain saddled with expenses that have continued to escalate,” said Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez in a release. “This funding will provide much needed relief to help get residents back home and manage financial challenges.”

The money will help victims offset living expenses and aid those facing possible foreclosure, the state reported.

The Working Families Living Expenses Voucher Program provides up to six months of housing and related assistance and is capped at $15,000 in direct payments or vouchers per household. It is available for eligible individuals or families.

Families and individuals interested in applying for The Working Families Living Expenses Voucher can go to www.NJ211.org <http://www.nj211.org/>  or call 211 to find out where to apply within each county.

The announcement of the fund availability comes one day after the fourth post-Sandy legislative hearing into those who are still experiencing problems.

Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer, chair of the Environment and Solid Waste Committee, issued a statement following Monday’s hearing in Toms River criticizing the administration for not making officials available to answer questions.

“Residents are entangled in a vicious web of red tape from uncooperative insurance companies, federal agencies and the administration’s appointed agency in charge of Sandy rebuilding. Many people are still far from being able to move back into their homes nearly 365 days later,” Spencer said.

The joint environment committees held hearings earlier in Trenton, Jersey City and Atlantic City.

$57M to help Sandy victims; Spencer cites ongoing problems