FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, April 2, 2015

Christie Administration Announces Housing Recovery Centers to Consolidate on May 1

Services for the State’s Housing Recovery Programs Will Remain Available to

Eligible Program Participants


Trenton, NJWith most of the families in the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation, and Mitigation (RREM) Program now in the construction phase, the Christie Administration today announced the State’s Housing Recovery Centers will consolidate in an effort to better meet the ongoing construction needs of participants in the RREM Program and the State’s other housing recovery programs.


The HRC consolidation does not mean services will no longer be available in Bergen, Cape May, Hudson, Middlesex and Union counties. Plans are underway to identify established locations in each of the five counties where Housing Advisors can go on an as needed basis to assist RREM participants who cannot, for whatever reason, travel to the consolidated HRCs. This service will also be provided to applicants of the LMI Homeowners Rebuilding Program who live in these counties once they are approved to participate in the program. The LMI Program provides rebuilding assistance to Sandy-impacted homeowners of low- to moderate-income.


Also, DCA will continue to hold information sessions in hard hit communities, including those in the five counties. The information sessions are open to all eligible RREM homeowners and are designed to provide individualized answers to homeowners’ questions that arise during all stages in their RREM process. These information sessions have been well-received by homeowners in the program. The sessions will also be open to eligible applicants of the LMI Homeowners Rebuilding Program.


"While we are aligning our resources to reflect the predominant construction needs that currently exist among homeowners in our largest housing recovery program, we want to assure people participating in both the RREM Program and LMI Program who aren’t yet at the construction phase that the services they need will continue to be provided," said Charles Richman, Acting Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), which administers many of the State’s Sandy recovery initiatives, including the RREM Program and LMI Program.


Of the more than 8,000 eligible homeowners participating in the RREM Program, nearly 7,000 have signed their grant agreement. Once homeowners sign their grant agreement to begin construction, their need shifts away from the Housing Recovery Center to their builder and RREM Project Manager. Additionally, the RREM Program was streamlined almost a year ago to allow program participants to mail in their documents and work remotely with their Housing Advisors, lessening the need to visit a Housing Recovery Center.


The five Housing Recovery Centers being consolidated handle less than 10 percent of the remaining RREM cases where an applicant still needs to sign a grant agreement. For example, there are 4, 12 and 19 unsigned grant agreement cases at the Union, Middlesex and Hudson HRCs respectively.


Additionally, the DCA recently launched the Sandy Recovery Housing Counselor Program, which offers free housing counseling services on a wide array of housing-related issues to Sandy-impacted homeowners and renters who lived at the time of the storm in one of the nine counties the federal government designated as most impacted by Sandy (Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union). The counseling services include foreclosure prevention, homelessness prevention, and reverse mortgage/home equity conversion mortgage among other topics. Contact information for organizations providing the counseling services and their locations in the most impacted counties can be obtained at





As of May 1, five of the nine Housing Recovery Centers (HRCs) will be consolidated. Staffs at the Bergen, Hudson, and Union HRCs will be consolidated at the Essex Housing Recovery Center because of its location at a main transportation hub in Newark. Middlesex HRC staff will go to the Monmouth HRC, and Cape May HRC staff will be reassigned to the Atlantic HRC. The Ocean HRC, the largest recovery center, will continue to assist its caseload.