To further help the revitalization of Superstorm Sandy-impacted communities, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) today announced the $5 million allocation of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery funds for the Post Sandy Planning Assistance Grant Program. This grant program is available for counties and municipalities to hire licensed planners to assist in formulating long-term rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
"Many of our state's most impacted communities now face the challenge of developing rebuilding plans that address the myriad of issues produced by the storm," said DCA Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III. "In providing counties and municipalities with the means to hire licensed planners, these local governments will be better able to guide their rebuilding efforts to promote resilience and encourage economic growth."
The grant program is available for local governments in the nine most impacted counties (Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union). The purpose of the grants is to help local governments address conditions that were created or exacerbated by Superstorm Sandy, identify approaches to rebuilding that will be more resistant to damage from future storm events, and encourage sustainable economic growth. The program, which is administered by the DCA's Office of Local Planning Services (LPS), includes nine grant opportunities ranging from $5,000 to $ 50,000.
All applicants must complete a practical Strategic Recovery Planning Report. Those who have not done so should apply for a grant to create a Strategic Recovery Planning Report before applying for other grant activities. Local government entities may file joint applications when planning grant activities are regional in nature. The LPS staff of planners, who are licensed by the American Institute of Certified Planners and the New Jersey Board of Professional Planners, will conduct grant application reviews. Once a grant is awarded, all funded projects must be overseen by a licensed planner. An LPS staff member can also provide on-site assistance free of charge. Applications are accepted on a first-come first-served basis. Applicants are asked to submit a non-binding notice of intent to apply before June 19th. There will be a pre-application information session at 2:00 p.m. on June 26 at the DCA office in Trenton. The registration deadline to attend the session is June 24 and residents interested in attending the information session can find registration information online here.
The DCA's Office of Local Planning Services provides local planning services that create partnerships with communities to develop cost-effective strategies and solutions for the successful achievement of local land use and planning goals. Its professional, multidisciplinary staff offers general land use planning and special project planning services at no cost to local governments.
For more information on the DCA's Office of Local Planning Services please visit http://www.state.nj.us/dca/services/lps/.