WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 14, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — A group of New Jersey members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to Secretary Shaun Donovan of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Acting Chair Michael Boots of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) requesting that they attend a N.J. congressional delegation meeting to hear out questions and concerns from the delegation and state lawmakers as to why the process for helping homeowners recovering from Superstorm Sandy is taking so long. The lawmakers want to discuss what can be done to assist the 4,000 homeowners who still are not in their homes nearly a year and half after the October 2012 storm and what might be done to properly modify any other procedures that may be delaying reconstruction.
Signing the letter were Representatives Chris Smith (NJ-04), Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02), Jon Runyan (NJ-03), Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11), and Leonard Lance (NJ-07). The areas represented by the congressmen include severely damaged regions in Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic Cape May counties and other areas.
“We are writing today to express our deep concern over the ongoing post-Sandy disaster recovery in New Jersey, and to request a meeting with you, lawmakers from New Jersey’s shore area, and representatives from Governor Christie’s recovery team to discuss these critical issues,” the letter stated. “Nearly a year and a half after Superstorm Sandy and fourteen months after the President signed the first Sandy relief package releasing the federal funds, far too many of our constituents remain out of their homes, stuck in limbo while attempting to navigate the grant application and reimbursement process. The New Jersey Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) program received over 15,000 applications and currently has approximately 4,000 displaced, eligible homeowners on its waitlist who apparently forfeit reimbursement if they begin reconstruction without having first completed the requisite historic and environmental reviews. Additionally, there is concern that the third round of CDBG funds may be directed away from those residents still awaiting funds to repair their homes.”