Christie outlines spending plan for $1.8B in federal Sandy funding

TRENTON – The Christie administration said more than 20,000 homeowners and upwards of 10,000 businesses are set to benefit from the first wave of federal dollars preparing to flow into the state following the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

The administration outlined Tuesday how it plans to spend more than $1.8 billion in federal funding by way of Community Development Block Grant dollars.

If approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the dollars will go to support tens of thousands of homeowners and businesses, as well as more than 5,000 renters, officials said.

“Today’s announcement represents an important step in distributing the federal resources necessary to aid New Jersey’s rebuilding by developing the state’s specific plan for how those resources will be spent,” reads a statement from the administration regarding the outline.

The plan will be submitted to HUD for approval following a seven-day public comment period.

Among other things in the plan:

The Christie Administration will dedicate over 50 percent of funding for low-to-moderate-income households, in accordance with HUD guidelines.

Eighty percent of the funds will be dedicated to the nine most heavily affected counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union.

Sandy caused an estimated $3.837 billion in damage to houses and apartments throughout the state, the administration said, and the state will have a variety of programs in place, including:

*Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) Program: This $600 million program will provide eligible homeowners up to $150,000 to aid reconstruction of damaged homes. Seventy percent of the funds will be reserved for low-to-moderate-income households.

*A $200 million Housing Resettlement Program for those who are considering selling or abandoning their property. This program will provide $10,000 grants to homeowners to remain part of the fabric of their communities.

*A $30 million Blight Reduction Pilot Program that will provide zero-interest forgivable loans to nonprofit and for-profit developers to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed, vacant or abandoned properties.

*A $25 million Sandy Home Buyer Assistance Program to provide financial assistance of up to $50,000 to low-and-moderate-income households to purchase a home.




Christie outlines spending plan for $1.8B in federal Sandy funding