TRENTON – The NJ Department of Community Affairs will hold a public hearing 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8 in Toms River regarding plans to reallocate funds to the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) program, the low-to-moderate-income Homeowners Rebuilding program and the Fund for Restoration of Multi-family Housing program. The reallocations would help homeowners who are still recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy.
In Amendment 28, the DCA proposes to transfer $46 million into the RREM program and $4 million into LMI Homeowner Rebuilding program to provide additional funding for those who have not completed rebuilding their storm-damaged homes. In Amendment 30, another $10 million would bolster the FRM program to create affordable housing units to address the loss of multi-family housing caused by Hurricane Sandy.
“The state has made significant progress in helping Sandy-impacted families recover. Nonetheless, some homeowners find themselves at an impasse because they lack the necessary funding to complete construction,” Lt. Gov. and DCA Commissioner Sheila Oliver said in a press release. “We want to get these homeowners the additional resources they need to finish rebuilding and get back home.”
According to Oliver, Sandy also affected the rental market by driving up rents due to the loss of housing stock, pricing those in impacted counties out of the market.
“Directing additional disaster recovery funds to the FRM program will help get more affordable housing units built in communities hit hard by the storm,” she said.
Approximately 6,500 homeowners in RREM and LMI programs have completed rebuilding, but another 1,000 homeowners have yet to finish construction. Additional assistance may be awarded if the homeowner is able to demonstrate unmet financial need for work that has not yet been completed, Oliver advised.
Assistance would carry a five-year residency requirement and be secured through a subordinate mortgage on the property, which would not require monthly payments and would be forgiven after five years. Funds cannot be used for expanding the building.
The meeting will be held at the Toms River Municipal Complex, 33 Washington St., Toms River. Written comments may also be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mailed to Lisa Ryan, Sandy Recovery Division, NJDCA, 101 S. Broad St., PO Box 823, Trenton, NJ 08625. The public comment period for Amendment 28 closes at 5 p.m. on Jan. 9. The public comment period for Amendment 30 ends 5 p.m. Jan. 19.
To view the amendments in English or Spanish, see www.renewjerseystronger.org/plans-reports.