Provides Recovery Outreach to
Reach all NJ Residents by March 4th
The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network), a National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) State Coalition Partner, continues its work to ensure a more efficient, equitable, and transparent recovery from the devastating effects of Superstorm Sandy.
The Network engaged and mobilized its members, allies, local residents, and elected officials to promote improvements in the policies and programs created to help New Jersey recover. The Network’s collaborative efforts resulted in three public hearings about the second allotment of federal recovery dollars, and an expanded timeframe for public comment on the state’s proposed plan for these funds.
A fair housing complaint brought by Network allies, the Fair Share Housing Center, the Latino Action Network, and the New Jersey State Conference of the NAACP resulted in significant changes to the state’s Sandy recovery program. In May 2014, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, HUD, and the complainants entered into a Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA). Under the VCA, the state will ensure access to recovery resources for lower income renters and homeowners by targeting the hardest hit areas.
“Recovering from the devastation after the storm has been overwhelming for our residents, especially for our neighbors who speak languages other than English or who need help navigating the recovery system. We are very pleased that the nonprofit community will be able to connect families with information about manufactured and individual home rebuilding, current and future rental opportunities and critical housing counseling services.”
Said Staci Berger, Network President and CEO.
The VCA set aside $40 million for lower income people and people with limited English proficiency, including owners of manufactured housing, who may not have enrolled in recovery programs when they were first announced.
The VCA also established a grassroots, community outreach component to ensure that low and moderate income homeowners and tenants, especially residents with limited English proficiency, are informed about the availability of Sandy recovery programs. Monarch Housing Associates is proud to be joining the Network in this outreach.
The VCA also provides for a Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) program for renters still impacted by Sandy. The deadline is March 4, 2015.