Trenton, NJ – In its continued effort to meet and assist Sandy-impacted families right in their home communities, the Christie Administration today announced that the 16th Information Session will be held Wednesday, April 29st, in Sea Bright, Monmouth County, to provide personal assistance for storm-affected homeowners participating in the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) Program.
The Information Session will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Sea Bright Borough Hall Gymnasium, 1167 Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright, to provide individualized, hands-on assistance to help eligible RREM participants navigate the program’s process.
The Information Session is open to eligible RREM participants from any of the nine counties the federal government determined were most impacted by Superstorm Sandy (Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union). Nearly 1,000 RREM applicants have attended the previous information sessions held from October through this month in other communities hard hit by Superstorm Sandy. The Information Sessions are designed to provide one-on-one attention to address homeowners’ questions that arise during all stages in their RREM process.
"Whether RREM participants are nearing completion on the rebuilding or elevating of their storm-damaged home or are recently funded under the RREM Program and just selecting a contractor to start rehabilitation, we will have knowledgeable staff available to field their questions," said New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Acting Commissioner Charles Richman, whose Department administers most of the State’s Sandy recovery initiatives, including the RREM Program. "Homeowners in the program can use the information session to check the status of their application, address challenges they may be facing in their individual rebuilding process, determine new action items, and educate themselves about best practices and key information as they move through the process."
At all RREM Information Sessions, program participants who have not signed and returned their Right of Entry forms are urged to complete and submit them to the DCA. RREM applicants must complete and return the Right of Entry form to allow the State to conduct a federally mandated environmental and historical review of their home to ensure there are no negative impacts to the environment and any historical or archaeological artifacts. Also, program participants are encouraged, if they have not done so already, to return their completed Duplication of Benefits questionnaire, which is needed to calculate their grant awards.
Representatives from the DCA’s Sandy Recovery Division, Housing Recovery Centers, and RREM Program Managers will be present to answer specific questions about the RREM Program. Additionally, representatives of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs will be available to discuss respectively the federally mandated environmental and historical review and best practices in selecting a reliable contractor to undertake home rebuilding work.
Housing Counselors from the Sandy Recovery Housing Counseling Program will also be in attendance to offer RREM participants free HUD-certified housing counseling services for a wide array of housing-related issues, including foreclosure prevention, homelessness prevention, rental counseling, and advice on reverse mortgages and home equity conversion.
Furthermore, information will be available about the Rental Assistance Program (RAP), which was launched last month to help Sandy-impacted families pay for temporary housing while their primary homes are being repaired, rebuilt or elevated. Through the RAP initiative, homeowners in the RREM Program who have signed a grant agreement and meet other eligibility criteria are eligible for up to $825 per month for up to six months of rental assistance.
The RREM Program is the largest of the housing recovery programs launched by the State following Superstorm Sandy. The program provides grants to Sandy-impacted homeowners to cover rebuilding costs up to $150,000 that are not funded by insurance, FEMA assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration loans, or other sources.
For more information on the RREM Information Session, RREM applicants may contact the DCA’s Sandy Constituent Services Office by calling 609-292-3750 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Sandy Recovery Housing Counseling Program and the Rental Assistance Program, people can visit the following websites: www.renewjerseystronger.org/homeowners/sandy-recovery-housing-counseling-program/ and www.nj.gov/dca/hmfa/homeownership/owners/ssbg/index.shtml.