On October 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy hit New Jersey causing extensive flooding and a tidal surge that devastated the State. Since the storm, Governor Christie has led a comprehensive recovery effort to rebuild New Jersey’s communities.
The Governor’s core mission is to lead the State’s revitalization following Superstorm Sandy in cooperation with all federal, State, local, private, and non-governmental entities to achieve a stronger and more resilient New Jersey. With the support of State Departments and Agencies, the Governor is carrying out this mission by developing priorities and objectives to address the impacts of the storm on New Jersey’s communities and businesses. As part of the ongoing recovery process, the State is:
Working closely with local communities and stakeholders to develop comprehensive plans for recovery and to maximize disaster relief funds;
Providing critical resources to rebuild housing, public buildings, small businesses, and infrastructure in a manner that is cost-efficient and disaster resilient;
Developing hazard mitigation initiatives to create stronger communities;
Cutting red tape and streamlining the regulatory framework for recovery and rebuilding; and
Incorporating compliance measures into the State’s grant programs to ensure effective and efficient use of funds.
As part of the recovery team, State Departments and Agencies continue to work closely with local communities, stakeholders, and the federal government to identify local needs and priorities for rebuilding. The State is committed to maximizing available resources to benefit those most in need. For more information and to view the Sandy Federal Funds Tracker, visit the New Jersey Transparency website available here.
Understanding the Sandy Supplemental Appropriation
On January 29, 2013, President Obama signed into law the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. The law provides approximately $50.38 billion to assist areas impacted by Superstorm Sandy. The following chart identifies the allocation of relief dollars by federal agency. New Jersey's share of these federal funds has been and will continue to be determined by each federal agency.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) allocated $1.83 billion in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds to New Jersey. On March 5, 2013, HUD posted a notice in the Federal Register and New Jersey became eligible to apply for use of these CDBG-DR funds. The State is using this initial funding to help families rebuild their homes, get small businesses back on their feet, and address community needs, among other things. Pursuant to HUD requirements, New Jersey submitted an Action Plan to HUD detailing the proposed use of funds, including criteria for eligibility and how the use of these funds will address disaster relief, long-term recovery, restoration of infrastructure, and housing and economic revitalization in the most impacted and distressed areas. HUD approved the Action Plan on April 29, 2013, and the approved Action Plan is available here. The Spanish version is available here.
CDBG-DR funds are intended to address unmet needs not satisfied by private insurance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), or other sources. The first allocation of CDBG-DR funding will address the following categories:
Homeowner Resettlement Program: This program is aimed at Sandy-impacted homeowners who sustained storm damage and who are considering selling or abandoning their property. Initially funded at $180 million, with an additional allocation of $35 million, this $215 million program provides $10,000 grants to eligible homeowners to remain part of the fabric of their communities as they continue the recovery process. For more information visit reNewJerseyStronger.org or access the press announcements here and here.
For housing assistance, call 1-855-SANDYHM (1-855-726-3946) or click here to fill out the Superstorm Sandy Assistance Notification Form to receive real time updates on housing assistance programs.
CDBG-DR Rental Housing and Renter Programs
Landlord Rental Repair Program (LRRP): Funded at $70 million, the LRRP provides zero-interest, forgivable loans of up to $50,000 per unit to eligible owners of rental buildings with 25 or fewer units that received significant damage from Superstorm Sandy and are partially or completely uninhabitable. For more information visit reNewJerseyStronger.org or access the press announcement here.
Landlord Incentive Program (LIP): Through $40 million in funding, this program provides incentive payments to eligible rental property owners who agree to lease their units to low and moderate income households at affordable rents. For more information visit reNewJerseyStronger.org or access the press announcement here.
Neighborhood Enhancement Program: This program provides zero percent loans to eligible non-profit and for-profit developers to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed, vacant, or abandoned properties in targeted communities. Funded at $30 million, this program supports efforts to develop a mixed-income model of rebuilding to prevent concentrations of poverty and rebuild strong neighborhoods. The program is designed to alleviate the shortage of rental and for-sale housing and potential blight caused by the storm. The press announcement is available here.
Predevelopment Loan Fund for Affordable Rental Housing: This program is designed to provide financing of up to $500,000 to help non-profit housing developers cover the predevelopment costs of properties that are unsafe, underutilized, or in foreclosure. Projects must help to revitalize communities by facilitating the acquisition, clearance, and preparation of sites. Allocation for the program is $10 million. For more information visit the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority’s website or access the press announcement here.
Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing (FRM): $179.52 million has been allocated to provide zero and low-interest loans of up to $120,000 per unit to qualified developers and public housing authorities to facilitate the creation of new permanent housing units. A significant portion of the fund is being used to assist in the development of new permanent, supportive housing for individuals with special needs. For more information visit the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency website or access the press announcement here.
Sandy Homebuyer Assistance Program (SHAP): Through an allocation of $25 million, this program provides low and moderate income households the opportunity to purchase a home by providing financial incentives to do so, effectively creating first time homebuyers from renters. The program will not only provide an affordable alternative to leasing, but will create a market for rebuilt and restored homes. The program is administered by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. For more information visit reNewJerseyStronger.org or access the press announcement here.
CDBG-DR Economic Revitalization
Stronger NJ Business Grant Program: Eligible small businesses businesses and non-profits that sustained physical damage may apply for grants of up to $50,000. These grants can be used for rehabilitation, new construction, equipment, inventory, mitigation, refinancing, and working capital among other uses. The working capital and other uses may be structured as forgivable loans. For more information visit njeda.com or access the press announcement here.
Stronger NJ Business Loan Program: Program loans of up to $5 million are assisting small businesses and non-profits that suffered physical damage, as well as spurring economic revitalization by providing funding for expansion and new businesses in storm-impacted areas. For more information visit njeda.com or access the press announcement here.
Stronger NJ Neighborhood and Community Revitalization Program: This program provides funding to help communities with public facility improvements such as streetscapes, lighting, and sidewalks; business assistance initiatives such as micro-loans for storm-related damage and loan guarantees for loan loss reserves; and façade and code-related improvements. For more information visit njeda.com or access the press announcement here.
Tourism Marketing: This marketing campaign will continue to promote storm-impacted businesses and shore communities by letting the nation know that New Jersey is recovering and that communities are open for business. The campaign funded at $25 million is also designed to encourage New Jerseyans and tourists to shop local, thereby supporting companies that are operational.
For business assistance, call 1-855-SANDYBZ (1-855-726-3929) or click here to fill out the Superstorm Sandy Assistance Notification Form to receive real time updates on business assistance programs.
CDBG-DR Support for Governmental Entities
Match for FEMA’s Public Assistance Program: An allocation of $50 million is being used to provide critical funding support to eligible applicants such as state agencies and local governmental entities by helping to subsidize the required match for FEMA Public Assistance projects. This will enable governmental entities to have sufficient resources to continue operations without resorting to tax increases or other measures that may cause further hardship and distress in Sandy-impacted communities.
Essential Services Grant Program: This $60 million program will be applied in combination with FEMA’s Community Disaster Loan Program to close gaps in local budgets to ensure that local government entities such as counties, municipalities, authorities, fire districts, and school districts can continue to pay essential personnel in critically important functions including police and fire services, education, and public works.
Unsafe Structure Demolition Program: This $15 million program will assist in the demolition of unsafe structures in Sandy-impacted communities. These funds will be used to identify unsafe structures in need of demolition; demolish unsafe structures; remove debris; and perform additional activities related to demolitions. The press announcement is available here.
Code Enforcement Grant Program: $3 million in funding continues to supplement local code enforcement efforts by providing additional personnel, an online plan review and permitting process, and enhancement of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ continuing education curriculum for code officials to include training in flood hazard mitigation practices and other storm-related code issues.
Zoning Enforcement Grant Program: $3 million in funding for municipalities will be applied to help zoning offices better handle the influx of rebuilding applications. Municipalities may use the funds to hire technical and administrative support staff directly; procure staff from private firms on an as needed basis; and secure additional office space to accommodate more staff. The press announcement is available here.
Post Sandy Planning Assistance Grant Program: $5 million in funding has been allocated to assist counties and municipalities in hiring licensed planners to facilitate long-term planning and rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. For additional information visit DCA’s website or access the press announcement here.
CDBG-DR Supportive Services Programs
Supportive Services Program: DCA has allocated $10 million for ongoing supportive services to address unmet needs as they are identified.
CDBG-DR Planning, Oversight, and Monitoring
Administrative/Planning: The State must certify and have in place proficient financial controls and procurement processes, adequate procedures to prevent any duplication of benefits, enable timely expenditure of funds, maintain websites regarding disaster recovery activities assisted with these funds, establish processes and controls to ensure effective and efficient application of funds, perform regulatory reviews on projects and otherwise comply with federal laws. HUD provides monies to the State for operating costs associated with day-to-day management of programs. An allocation of $79 million has been set aside for certain of these planning, oversight, and monitoring costs.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Sandy Supplemental funds were principally allocated to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
The State is using FHWA funds to repair roads and highways impacted by Superstorm Sandy and is designing and implementing “best practice” resiliency measures to reduce the risk of future flooding damage to State roads. These resiliency measures include anti-scour techniques, flood vents, pump stations, and elevation of certain segments of roadway.
FTA funding has supported NJ Transit’s comprehensive cleanup and recovery plan that involved removing debris, repairing damaged tracks, switches and signal systems, repairing downed poles and overhead catenary power wires, salvaging equipment, and repairing flood-damaged customer and support facilities. FTA funds will also support the State’s efforts to strengthen its transit system, making it more resilient in the event of future storms like Superstorm Sandy. Several construction strategies and building materials are being employed to accomplish the storm-hardening objective, key electrical substations and equipment are being elevated, and additional “safe haven” rail storage capacity has been constructed. top
New Jersey has received funding from FEMA through the Public Assistance and Individual Assistance programs and has allocated approximately $290 million in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures.
FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP)
HMGP Elevation Program: This $100 million program provides reimbursement grants of up to $30,000 for homeowners seeking to elevate their homes to mitigate against future flooding events. For more information visit reNewJerseyStronger.org or access the press announcement here.
HMGP Buyout Program: Through New Jersey’s Blue Acres Program, the State has begun funding the acquisition of over 1,000 homes in Sandy-impacted areas subject to repetitive flooding. This $300 million program received an initial allocation of $100 million in HMGP funds. For more information visit the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Blue Acre’s website or access the press announcement here.
HMGP Energy Allocation Initiative: $25 million in HMGP funds allows municipalities, counties and other government units to pursue creative and cost-effective alternatives to enhance statewide energy resilience. Communities will have the benefit of a locally-tailored analysis conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in deciding how to best use their energy allocation funding. The press announcement is available here.
HMGP Local Resiliency Projects: This $50 million program, which was allocated to all 21 counties, helps county and local governments pursue regional and local resiliency projects to better protect the State in the event of a storm or other disaster. To access the press announcement click here.
HMGP Liquid Fuel Resilience Program: New Jersey is taking action to address emergency liquid fuel challenges highlighted during Superstorm Sandy by building resilience in fuel supply and distribution. The State is making $7 million in HMGP funds available to support the purchase of generators or permanent connection points for mobile generators for approximately 250 fuel stations located along key thoroughfares throughout the State. In addition, New Jersey Office of Emergency Management is acquiring a strategic cache of emergency generators that can be deployed during a major power outage to critical assets such as shelters, hospitals, public safety facilities, and retail fuel stations. The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness has also partnered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to explore opportunities to increase the resiliency of the State’s petroleum storage and distribution and supply systems. The press announcement is available here.
HMGP Planning Grant Program: The NJ Office of Emergency Management is coordinating a planning grant program, which provides eligible counties with grants to develop multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plans. These grants also allow municipalities to collaborate with county government to develop regional resiliency plans that will help New Jersey mitigate the threat of future hazards. The press announcement is available here.
FEMA Public Assistance (PA) and Individual Assistance (IA)
FEMA Public Assistance (PA) continues to provide assistance to help governmental entities rebuild and replace damaged or destroyed equipment and buildings. The FEMA Individual Assistance (IA) program, which registered more than 250,000 New Jersey citizens, provides for a variety of services, including Individual/Households Program (IHP), Housing Assistance (HA) and Other Needs Assistance (ONA). For totals on both programs, please see the New Jersey Sandy Federal Funds Tracker, available here, and the FEMA Hurricane Sandy homepage, available here.
FEMA Public Assistance continues to provide financial support to municipalities, governmental entities, and certain non-profit organizations to, among other things, help rebuild public buildings and infrastructure. In order to assist communities with the PA process, the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management established the Disaster Recovery Bureau (DRB), a grants management organization, to provide technical assistance to county and local governments as well as other eligible private non-profits. This assistance has included assigning State Applicant Liaisons (SALs) to provide face-to-face guidance through the FEMA process.
FEMA Individual Assistance has provided financial help or direct services such as:
Grants to repair or replace your damaged primary residence;
Temporary housing assistance;
Medical and dental expenses;
Funeral and burial costs; and
Repair, cleaning and replacement costs for disaster-related expenses.
Congress allocated $5.35 billion to the Army Corps, including $20 million to undertake the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study. The purpose of the study is to address the flood risks of vulnerable coastal populations in the areas affected by Sandy, including New Jersey. The study is scheduled to be completed by January 2015. New Jersey is committed to collaborating with the Army Corps to ensure that the study ultimately leads to implementable flood hazard mitigation projects for New Jersey communities that are particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events.
The State continues to work closely with the Army Corps to ensure a comprehensive risk reduction strategy for New Jersey. For more information on the critical Army Corps beach and dune construction projects that will reduce risk to lives, properties and infrastructure, please see the press announcement here. top
In August 2013, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced that it would dedicate $100 million in funding it received under the Sandy Supplemental to launch a competitive grant program in Sandy-impacted states.
The program is intended to promote resilient natural systems and enhance green space and wildlife habitats, enabling communities and key habitats to withstand impacts of future storms. The competition is open to state agencies, local governments and agencies, eligible non-profits and academic institutions, and recognized tribes.
In October 2013, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), which administers the competitive grant program, issued its Request for Proposals that outlined the competitive scoring criteria for proposed projects.
All proposed projects must be submitted by January 31, 2014. NFWF will determine which proposals will be funded via the competitive grant program.
Among projects being evaluated by the State include living shoreline projects, creating or enhancing wetlands, restoring marsh and tidal creeks, addressing storm impacts on forests, and green infrastructure initiatives. top
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services allocated $226 million to New Jersey as part of the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) program. New Jersey is using SSBG funds to address many health and social service gaps created by Superstorm Sandy. To that end, the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS), New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF), and New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) have worked collaboratively to develop and implement programs to deliver critical services to those most in need throughout New Jersey.
DHS has focused on assisting those in need of behavioral and mental health services, legal assistance, and other housing-related support. For example, the Working Families Living Expenses Voucher Program (also known as SHRAP) provides housing stability for individuals and families still struggling with financial challenges caused by Superstorm Sandy. DHS has also focused on providing ongoing child care assistance and services for older adults and people with disabilities.
DCF has focused on strengthening Sandy-impacted families; preventing violence and exploitation linked to Superstorm Sandy; and helping communities build resiliency into their recovery by providing mental health and substance abuse services to help families and children develop healthy strategies for addressing storm-related strains.
DOH is committed to restoring and enhancing the public health of all impacted communities. DOH has focused on supporting local health departments; and strengthening community resiliency by providing key post-storm guidance and also funding critical health services.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) The EPA has allocated $229 million to the State of New Jersey for improvements to wastewater and drinking water treatment facilities impacted by Superstorm Sandy. The State has created programs to maximize this investment by leveraging available funds to offer low interest loans with opportunities for principal forgiveness. These loans will help fund the repair of Sandy-damaged infrastructure and improve resiliency of the State’s environmental infrastructure. The State has also created the Short-term Statewide Assistance Infrastructure Loan Program (SAIL), which is designed to provide facilities with short-term cash flow assistance for Sandy recovery project expenses that will ultimately be financed through other federal grant programs, including FEMA’s Public Assistance reimbursement program. For more information, please click here.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) – SBA Loan Program As of October 7, 2013, SBA has approved $828.5 million in loans to homes and businesses in New Jersey. The SBA is no longer accepting Disaster Assistance Loan applications. For more information about the SBA’s disaster recovery programs, please click here.