Sandy bill clears Senate; Sweeney says storm victims ‘deserve answers’

0054A bill that aims to address ongoing problems raised by homeowners and advocates about New Jersey’s handling of Hurricane Sandy relief aid cleared the state Senate on Monday. The bill ( S2825), which was introduced by Senate President Stephen Sweeney in March, requires the state to give applicants in certain grant programs personalized timelines showing when… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: May 19th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Hurricane Sandy, RREM, Stephen Sweeney, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

N.J.’s Sandy spending dipped in first quarter of 2015, report shows

IMG_5425The pace of spending on Hurricane Sandy disaster programs in New Jersey waned in the first three months of this year compared to the previous quarter, a new report shows. Roughly $180 million in federal recovery funds were handed out in New Jersey in the last quarter, according to the state’s latest report to the federal… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: May 6th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Christie Administration, Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off

N.J. had to withdraw, resubmit request to change Sandy grant 15 times, federal audit shows

assetContentNew Jersey had to withdraw and resubmit a request to modify a federal emergency grant awarded after Hurricane Sandy 15 times due to technical glitches with the grant’s online system and incomplete information during a seven-month delay in approval that put cleanup efforts at risk, according to an audit released on Monday. The federal audit said… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 31st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Hurricane Sandy, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

Why Christie Got RREM’d In Iowa

assetContentIn her last job, Amanda Devecka-Rinear’s office was in an historic brick Georgian mansion on DuPont Circle in Washington D.C., with rooftop views of Embassy Row. Her office now is in a fishing shack on Cedar Bonnet Island, with back porch views of Barnegat Bay and kitchen views of a boarded-up house across the sand-packed street.… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 11th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Hurricane Sandy, RREM, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

‘We need help desperately,’ residents tell state officials at Sandy hearing

assetContent (3)TOMS RIVER — The state plans to spend most of the half billion dollars in Hurricane Sandy recovery funding allocated to New Jersey in the final round of aid from the federal government on affordable rental housing programs and grants for people who want to rebuild. But residents who spoke at a public hearing today in… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 7th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Christie Administration, Hurricane Sandy, RREM, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Buyer’s remorse: Loans impacting grant money for Sandy victims

assetContent (15)NEW YORK (AP) — When Superstorm Sandy left Denise Erickson’s home with a collapsed foundation, a loan from the Small Business Administration looked like the best deal in town. She got more than $150,000 from the SBA to help fix her family’s Bellmore home, but the loan has left her with a $651 monthly payment and… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 15th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: FEMA, Hurricane Sandy, Monmouth County, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Highlands Hero Gets RREM’d

After Closing On A RREM Grant, DCA Says A New Home For Vietnam Vet Is Not In The Cards

By Art Gallagher

Russell Card Jr removes his "family crest" from his family's home in Highlands in preparation for demolition . Photo via facebook

Russell Card Jr removes his “family crest” from his family’s home in Highlands in preparation for demolition . Photo via facebook

A Vietnam Veteran from Highlands and his 65 year-old wife had their expectations of a new home  crushed last week when their RREM approved builder informed them that a stop work order had been placed on their project by the Department of Community Affairs, with no explanation.   The family had prepared their house for demolition, based upon promises from DCA/RREM, and now fear they will be without a home.

Russell Card, a 72 year-old Vietnam Veteran from Highlands closed on his $150,000 RREM grant on July 28.  He put up his $18,000 escrow to cover the difference between the cost of the project and the amount granted.  Card, his wife Maureen and son Russell Jr, 35, prepared their home (which was built in the 1890’s and in the family since 1933) for demolition.   They moved most of their belongings into a POD on their immaculately maintained property and moved themselves into an apartment the size of the living room in the Bay Avenue house they have lived in since 1986.  By mid-September all the utilities were disconnected at the house and it was ready for demolition before their new home would be built.  The funding for the new home was the RREM grant, a gap grant of $30,000 from Gap Funding Initiative and $17,762 that was remaining from a $55,000 grant Mrs. Card had received from her employer, CareOne, after Sandy filled their home with eight feet of water on October 29, 2012.

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Posted: October 1st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, DCA, Department of Community Affairs, FEMA, Flooding, Highlands, Housing, Hurricane Sandy, Monmouth County, RREM, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Sandy elevation program backlog will ease by end of summer, top NJ official says

Sandy elevation program backlog will ease by end of summer, top NJ official says (via NJ.com)

New Jersey’s top environmental official said today he expected a backlog of applications for a Hurricane Sandy elevation program to be cleared by the end of the summer. Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin said roughly 2,…

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Posted: April 28th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Christie Administration, DEP, Environment, FEMA, Flooding, NJ Department of Environmental Protection | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Menendez Rebuts Christie Over Blame for Stalled Sandy Relief Aid

Menendez Rebuts Christie Over Blame for Stalled Sandy Relief Aid (via NJSpotlight)

Who is to blame for the slow pace of New Jersey’s recovery from superstorm Sandy? Gov. Chris Christie blames federal red tape and regulations for holding up the distribution of aid money to storm victims in New Jersey. But New Jersey’s senior U.S.…

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Posted: March 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Bob Menendez, Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Kyrillos Blasts HUD For Keeping Sandy Victims From Rebuidling

KyrillosState Senator Joe Kyrillos came out swinging this afternoon regarding the news that the Department of Housing and Urban Development denied the Christie Administration’s request to allow victims of Superstorm Sandy to continue to rebuild their homes while they are applying for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) grants.

Kyrillos implored HUD officials and New Jersey’s congressional delegation to do whatever is necessary to allow Sandy devastated residents to rebuild their lives.

“It’s ridiculous, to say the least, that the people of New Jersey are being denied access to grant money because they are trying to rebuild their lives after the worst storm ever,” Kyrillos said. “The people of my district and the surrounding areas were some of the hardest hit and their federal government should not be hindering their recovery. Our home owners should be able to rebuild as they apply for grant money and I urge our congressional delegation to get to work immediately”

Senator Kyrillos added that the people deserve a reasonable return on their federal tax dollars in the form of Sandy grants.

“A lot of good has come out of the $1.83 billion in initial aid to New Jerseyans, but the reality is that more resources are needed for this state to recover from nearly $37 billion in damages,” Kyrillos said. “New York has received about $4 billion more, so the time is now for HUD officials and our congressmen to turn their eyes to our state.”

The Associated Press reported today that HUD denied a Christie Administration request to waive a rule that all reconstruction work must stop when a property owner applies for RREM grants.   The federal government wants be sure that historical structures are protected and that the properties are rebuilt to the new elevation standards.  No work that is completed prior to a HUD approval of the plans will be reimbursed with RREM grants, even if the work complies with the standards.

Posted: February 19th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, Chris Christie, Joe Kyrillos, RREM, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments »