Distributing The Resources New Jersey Needs For The Rebuilding Process
What New Jersey Residents Need To Know About The Christie Administration’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Action Plan
The Christie Administration has received approval from the Obama Administration to move forward with the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery Action Plan. This plan outlines how we will utilize the first phase of the emergency supplemental passed by Congress in January. The first $1,829,520,000 in CDBG funds provided to New Jersey by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will focus primarily on helping homeowners, renters, businesses and communities impacted by Super Storm Sandy.
What To Know About Where And How:
· The Action Plan incorporates input from HUD, as well as Sandy-impacted communities and stakeholder groups whose engagement will continue throughout the State’s recovery, rebuilding and restoration process.
· CDBG Disaster Recovery funds are intended to address unmet needs not satisfied by private insurance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration, or other sources.
· The Christie Administration will dedicate over 55 percent of funding for low-to-moderate-income households.
Next Steps For New Jersey Homeowners, Renters And Small Business Owners:
· Visit www.sandyhelp.nj.gov to choose either housing or business assistance and fill out notification forms to receive real time updates on programs and next steps. This web site will feature fact sheets with basic information about the programs and steps to prepare for submitting an application for assistance.
· There are also two hotline numbers available: for housing assistance, call 1-855-SANDYHM (1-855-726-3946); for business assistance, call 1-855-SANDYBZ (1-855-726-3929).
Helping New Jersey Homeowners and Protecting Shore Communities:
· Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation And Mitigation (RREM) Program: This $600 million program will provide eligible homeowners up to $150,000 to aid reconstruction, rehabilitation, elevation and mitigation of damaged homes.
· Housing Resettlement Program: This program is aimed at Sandy-impacted homeowners who sustained storm damage and who are considering selling or abandoning their property. Funded at $180 million, this program will provide $10,000 grants to eligible homeowners to remain part of the fabric of their communities as they continue the recovery process.
Helping New Jersey’s Working And Low Income Families:
Governor Christie is committed to helping low-to-moderate income families as well as vulnerable populations recover from Sandy. The Christie Administration is proposing a range of rental housing activities designed to replenish rental housing stock lost to Sandy, rehabilitate affordable rental units left uninhabitable by Sandy, and provide affordable housing for special needs populations.
· Restoration Of Multi-Family Housing: $179.52 million will be utilized to provide zero and low-interest loans of up to $120,000 per unit to qualified developers and public housing authorities to facilitate the creation of new permanent housing units. A significant portion of the fund will be used to assist in the development of new permanent, supportive housing for individuals with special needs.
· The Sandy Special Needs Housing Fund (SSNHF): $25 million will be provided for the creation of quality, permanent supportive housing which will expand housing options for individuals with special needs severely impacted by Super Storm Sandy.
· Fund For Rehabilitation Of Small Rental Properties: Through an allocation of $70 million, the Christie Administration will provide zero-interest, forgivable loans of up to $50,000 per unit to eligible owners of rental buildings with 25 or fewer units that received significant damage from Super Storm Sandy and are partially or completely uninhabitable.
· Predevelopment Fund For Affordable Rental Housing: Provide financing of up to $500,000 to help nonprofit housing developers cover the predevelopment costs of properties that are unsafe, underutilized, or in foreclosure. Projects must help to revitalize communities by facilitating the acquisition, clearance, and preparation of difficult to develop sites. Allocation for the program will be $10 million.
· Affordable Housing Incentives: Through $40 million in funding, this program will provide incentive payments to eligible rental property owners who agree to lease their units to low and moderate income households at affordable rents.
Supporting Economic Recovery and Revitalization:
Economic recovery and revitalization is also a top priority of the Action Plan to restore communities and promote job growth. Businesses in the 113 municipalities most impacted by Super Storm Sandy incurred commercial property losses in excess of $380 million and business interruption losses in excess of $63 million. To help New Jersey businesses, the Christie Administration is setting aside $460 million in funding for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to administer the following activities:
· Small Business Grants: Eligible small businesses that sustained physical damage will be able to apply for grants of up to $50,000. These grants can be used for rehabilitation, new construction, equipment, inventory, mitigation, refinancing and working capital among other uses.
· No-Interest Loans For Storm-Impacted Small Businesses: These loans, up to $5 million, are intended to assist small businesses that suffered physical damage, as well as spur economic revitalization by providing funding for expansion and new businesses in storm-impacted areas.
· Neighborhood And Community Revitalization Programs: Provides funding to help communities with public facility improvements such as streetscapes, lighting, and sidewalks; businesses assistance initiatives such as micro-loans for storm-related damage and loan guarantees for loan loss reserves; and façade and code-related improvements.
· Tourism Marketing Campaign: This marketing campaign will promote storm-impacted businesses and shore communities by letting the nation know that New Jersey is recovering and that communities are open for business. The campaign funded at $25 million would also encourage New Jerseyans and tourists to shop local, thereby supporting companies that are operational.
It is estimated the Action Plan’s rental development and rehabilitation programs will create 3,000 jobs and $500 million in economic activity.
Providing Real Assistance To Local Governments And Property Taxpayers:
While the housing and economic sectors are the central focus of this first allocation of CDBG Disaster Recovery funding, the Christie Administration is also going to help local governments provide essential services. Since there were unanticipated expenses caused by the storm that are not reimbursed by FEMA, the Action Plan proposes to allocate $116 million in funds as follows:
· FEMA Match For Public Assistance Program: An allocation of $50 million will be used to provide critical funding support to eligible applicants such as state agencies and local governmental entities by helping to subsidize the required match for FEMA Public Assistance projects. This will ensure that governmental entities have sufficient resources to continue providing essential services without resorting to tax increases or other measures that may cause further hardship and distress in Sandy-impacted communities.
· Protecting Essential Services For Short-Term Sustainability And Long-Term Recovery: $60 million will be used to close gaps in funding in FEMA’s Community Disaster Loan Program so that local government entities such as counties, municipalities, authorities, fire districts, and school districts can continue to pay essential personnel in critically important service areas including police and fire services, education, and public works.
· Code Enforcement Grant Program: $6 million in funding will supplement local code enforcement offices with additional personnel, provide an online plan review and permitting process, and enhance the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ continuing education curriculum for code officials to include training in flood hazard mitigation practices and other storm-related code issues.