GRANT PROGRAM FOR SANDY VICTIMS COULD BE UP BY LATE MARCH, CHRISTIE SAYS
By Melissa Hayes/The Record
February 19, 2013
A grant program for businesses and homeowners impacted by superstorm Sandy should be up and running by the end of March or early April, Governor Christie said Tuesday.
The state plans to use the majority of $1.8 billion in federal funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to create community development block grant programs to help homeowners rebuild primary residences, help cover the cost of elevating homes out of flood zones, and to help businesses re-open.
The federal government needs to sign off on the state’s proposal before the funds can be spent. Christie said he spoke to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan Monday and it could take several weeks for that approval to come.
“We’re moving aggressively to get these federal relief dollars with the homeowners and businesses as quickly as possible,” he said.
Christie said he’s hopeful the programs could be in place by the last week of March or the first week of April.
“So as you begin to plan the rebuilding of your own homes, the elevation of your own homes, take a deep breath, get your plans in place and then look for the advertising of these programs in the end of March and beginning of April so you can take advantage of them,” he told a crowd of residents gathered in the Lavallette Fire Department for his news conference. “They’re there for you to take advantage of them. The more New Jerseyans who sign up for them, the more we’ll fund them.”