Smith Announces HUD Secretary Will Meet with N.J. Delegation on Concerns of...

Smith Announces HUD Secretary Will Meet with N.J. Delegation on Concerns of Homeowners Victimized by Sandy

All Members of Delegation Welcome to Voice Concerns for Thousands of NJ Victims of Sandy Still Waiting for Assistance

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 2, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Members of the New Jersey Congressional Delegation plan to meet with Secretary Shaun Donovan of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) May 8, announced Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), Dean of the N.J. Delegation, to discuss 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 the best way forward to assist thousands of homeowners who still waiting to fix and return to their homes nearly a year and half after the October 2012 storm.

“I’m intending to invite every Republican and Democrat in the delegation to attend and participate, so we can voice the concerns of the people we serve,” said Smith. “We want to address the core concerns and still unmet needs of the shore community. We need to find the best way forward.”

Representatives Smith (NJ-04), Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02), Jon Runyan (NJ-03), Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11), and Leonard Lance (NJ-07) sent a letter to Donovan 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 the concerns of the delegation and the state lawmakers and work together to solve them. Click here to read a copy of the April 8 delegation letter.

In part, the letter read: “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.”

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