Network Raises Concerns About Sandy Recovery

Public Hearings on Action Plan This Week
$25 Million Included for Supportive Housing

Network Raises Concerns About Sandy Recovery The State has released its Action Plan Substantial Amendment for the next $1.4 billion in Federal Sandy recovery funds, which includes $25 million dollars for Sandy Special Needs Housing Fund.

And the Christie Administration has announced three public hearing dates on the Action Plan scheduled for the late afternoons/evenings of:

  • Tuesday, February 11 in Galloway,
  • Wednesday, February 12 in Newark , and
  • Thursday, February 13 in Middletown.

These hearings are an opportunity to share real stories of real people affected by the storm to make an impact on public policy.

Following the release of the Amendment, Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) President and CEO Staci Berger issued the following statement:

“We are very disappointed that the governor appears to be continuing down the same flawed path for this round of funding, one that has not produced the fair and equitable recovery NJ deserves. Many of these programs were not successful. We should not continue to fund things that do not help people recover, like the failed Stronger Than the Storm ads that so many residents found insulting. We are glad to see some rental vouchers finally being proposed by the State, but the funding level is far too low for the need.”

Among the Network’s initial concerns are the following,

  • “There is still not enough money to help lower income renters who are struggling now. $260 million is allocated for rental assistance programs, between the second plan and another amendment filed by DCA. However, only $15 million is going to rental vouchers through the separate amendment request. $200 million is going to the multifamily housing program, through which the New Brunswick and Belleville housing developments were financed. These funds should be directed towards the most severely impacted communities with requirements that they provide homes to lower income renters affected by Sandy.
  • “Lower income people continue to be shortchanged by this plan, as it does not commit a required 50% of funds be directed to low- and moderate-income households. It adds insult to injury by asking for additional funds to pay for more ‘Stronger than the Storm’ campaign work, which so many residents struggling to get back on their feet found insulting.
  • “The plan does not address who is running the state’s main housing recovery programs after the state fired its main contractor, Hammerman and Gainer Inc. It is unclear how people will get the help they need.”

The Network will provide updates as it continues to review the Action Plan.

Click here for the State Action Plan Substantial Amendment.

Click here for more details about the upcoming hearings.

Please contact Arnold Cohen at the Network with any questions.