FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, April 24, 2015

Christie Administration Announces Federal Approval of Plan to Distribute $881.9 Million in Third Round of Sandy Recovery Funds

Third and Most Likely Final Discretionary Allocation Calls for $501.9 Million to Address Housing Needs to Assist Homeowners and Renters and $380 Million for Infrastructure Projects


Trenton, NJ - The Christie Administration today announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has approved the State’s plans to spend the $881.9 million in the third allocation of federal disaster recovery funds, bringing the total to more than $4.1 billion in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) dollars that New Jersey has received to assist with Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts.



$226.5 million for the repair, reconstruction and elevation of eligible primary homes in the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation & Mitigation (RREM) Program.  With the additional $30 million of CDBG-DR funds transferred to RREM from other programs under recently HUD-approved Action Plan Amendment No. 13, DCA expects to serve all remaining eligible homeowners in the RREM Program. Of the more than 8,300 eligible homeowners likely to be served in the

State’s largest housing recovery program, nearly 7,000 homeowners have signed their RREM grant agreement. Of these, 6,500 are in the construction phase of their project, with more than 900 homes completed as of April 20th. The third round allocation is expected to fund all the remaining eligible homeowners in the RREM Program. 



As with the two previous CDBG-DR funding allocations, HUD mandated that at least 80 percent of the funds must be spent within the nine most impacted counties as determined by the federal government. Additionally, at least 50 percent of all CDBG-DR funding allocated to New Jersey must be expended to benefit low- to moderate-income households, businesses and communities. The allocations for housing recovery programs are described in detail in Action Plan Amendment No. 11 to New Jersey’s Superstorm Sandy Action Plan. 


HUD also approved a separate Action Plan Amendment for the allocation of $380 million of additional third round CDBG-DR funds that were required to be expended in connection with two projects selected by HUD through HUD’s Rebuild by Design (RBD) competition. One of the projects is focused in the Hudson River region (allocated $230 million by HUD) and the other in the Meadowlands region (allocated $150 million by HUD). The RBD projects are described in detail in Action Plan Amendment No. 12 to New Jersey’s Superstorm Sandy CDBG Disaster Recovery Action Plan. 


Additionally, as mentioned above, HUD approved the transfer of $30 million from other recovery initiatives to the RREM Program in order to serve all homeowners in the RREM Program, bringing the total RREM allocation to $1.36 billion.


The approved Action Plan Amendments 11, 12 and 13 are posted in English and Spanish at

on the reNewJerseyStronger website. 





"We are grateful for the continued support HUD has provided to assist the State’s recovery from the worst natural disaster in our history," said Governor Christie. "Throughout this process, HUD has worked closely with the State in our recovery, and our close collaboration will continue.  This third round of CDBG-DR funds is critical to getting more families back home, and to rebuild New Jersey better and stronger."


In its official notice of approval on April 20 to Acting Commissioner Charles Richman of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, which oversees many of the State’s Sandy recovery programs, HUD stated: "The State of New Jersey has brought relief to thousands of its homeowners, renters, and businesses within the last two years, while at the same time demonstrating its commitment to compliance with HUD and other federal requirements."


The approved Action Plan Amendment, which was formally submitted to HUD in February after a 30-day public comment period that included two public hearings, calls for third round funds to provide:



         $215 million to expand the Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing (FRM) Program, which is administered by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) and finances thousands of affordable rental units for low- to moderate-income (LMI) families. The State has allocated nearly $380 million in first and second round CDBG-DR funding to the FRM Program to create approximately 4,400 units of rental housing – most of which will be affordable – in the nine counties that the federal government designated as the most impacted by the Sandy (Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union).



         $10 million to the Sandy Special Needs Housing Fund (SSNHF) Program, which is also administered by HMFA and repairs or replaces storm-damaged affordable housing for special needs populations. The State allocated $50 million in first and second round CDBG-DR funding to the program. These funds have been committed across 24 projects that are expected to create 254 affordable housing opportunities for individuals with special needs.



         $15 million to the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) Program, which provides rental assistance for up to two years to eligible low- to moderate-income households. The TBRA Program launched in January and accepted applications through April 6. The funds, which are in addition to the $17 million in second round CDBG-DR funds allocated to this program, will increase the availability of rental units to low- to moderate-income households and revitalize impacted communities.