U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced HUD's approval of New Jersey's disaster recovery plan to help homeowners and businesses following Hurricane Sandy. Funded through HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, New Jersey's action plan calls for a $1.83 billion investment to support a variety of housing, infrastructure and business activities.
Donovan, who also chairs President Obama's Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, said today's approval will allow the State to begin the long-term process of rebuilding damaged housing, restoring infrastructure, and stimulating business activity and job growth.
"Today we take another important step toward recovery and healing for hard-hit communities in New Jersey," said Donovan. "HUD has worked closely with Governor Christie, Senators Menendez and Lautenberg, and the New Jersey Congressional Delegation to help design effective programs that will help small businesses reopen, get families back in their homes make communities more resilient as quickly as possible. We have also imposed additional internal controls and accountability measures and we will be working with the Inspector General to ensure that all funds are used as intended -- to help families, small businesses and communities get back on their feet and rebuild."
"Today's news sends a very powerful message that New Jersey is moving forward and that the Jersey Shore will be open for business this summer," said Governor Chris Christie. "These funds will provide critical resources to our Sandy-impacted homeowners and businesses to reconstruct, rehabilitate and continue down the road of recovery. While there is much work ahead of us, we have come a long way during these last six months, and I want to thank Secretary Donovan and his team for their tireless efforts as we all work together to rebuild our great state."
"This infusion of federal funding will help New Jersey continue to recover from Superstorm Sandy and ensure that our state is rebuilt stronger and better prepared for future storms. Families that are rebuilding their homes, small businesses that are getting back on their feet, and communities that are repairing damaged public infrastructure will all benefit from this federal grant program," Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) said. "We worked hard to get this funding flowing into New Jersey, and we will continue working with the State to ensure we receive the assistance necessary to fully recover from Superstorm Sandy."
"This CDBG funding will help elevate homes to avoid future floods, provide grants for hard hit small businesses that cannot take on more debt, and help the Jersey Shore rebuild for tourism season," said Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ). "It is gratifying to see state, federal, and local partners come together to create a strong plan for our recovery. I look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders to rebuild New Jersey better and stronger than ever."
"HUD's approval of New Jersey's Disaster Recovery Plan will provide much needed funding to help Sandy victims rebuild their homes and businesses," said Congressman Frank Pallone (NJ-06). "This is a critical step in the path toward recovery, but we still have a long road ahead. As residents and businesses continue to do the hard work of restoring what Sandy destroyed, I remain committed to making sure that our needs are being met and New Jerseyans have the tools we need to rebuild our communities even better than they were before the storm."
On January 29th, President Obama signed the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 into law, providing a total of $16 billion in CDBG Disaster Recovery funding. HUD quickly allocated $5.4 billion to five states (including New Jersey) and New York City. New Jersey submitted its required action plan describing how the funds will be used on March 27th and HUD conducted an expedited review to enable the state to access these funds as quickly as possible.
CDBG Disaster Recovery funding gives grantees significant flexibility in determining how best to use their funds to meet the greatest unmet needs. In general, the funds are intended for the restoration of housing and infrastructure as well as economic revitalization in disaster-impacted areas. The funds are to meet recovery needs that are not otherwise covered by other federal assistance, private insurance, or other sources.
The New Jersey plan offers a range of programs to provide relief to homeowners of damaged or destroyed properties as well as grants and low-cost loans to eligible small businesses. These programs provide more than $1 billion in various housing programs; $200 million for economic revitalization; and $225 million for infrastructure and public service programs.