The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and the Christie Administration along with the newly created Office of Recovery and Rebuilding released the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Action Plan resulting from the damage from Superstorm Sandy and the allocation of over $1.8 billion in the first phase of federal funding for cleanup, rebuilding and recovery. Some highlights of the plan, and important issues to note, are as follows:

  1. Sandy survivors have until April 1, 2013, to register for disaster assistance through FEMA.
  2. Funds will be available to victims of Sandy in various categories, including low income individuals, other homeowners and renters, small businesses, no interest loans and grants, neighborhood and community revitalization grants, tourism, public assistance projects, nonprofit housing developers, a tourism marketing campaign, blight reduction loans to developers and various other categories that warrant more detailed and thorough review by individuals, business and municipalities affected by Sandy, as well as business and developers looking to assist in creating the economic opportunity and housing in affected areas.
  3. A large focus of the various grants and loans is to assist in providing affordable housing opportunities to qualified individuals and potential developers – both owner-occupied and rental units — but not all funds are so reserved and most funds are expected to be allocated relatively quickly, particularly those that are not income capped.
  4. Funds have been allocated in specific buckets, some of which are sizeable and others of which are rather limited. The smallest buckets are typically for market rate housing, as compared to affordable or income restricted housing.
  5. This is the first phase of funding, but there is no evidence that future funding will apply to the same categories. As with many programs, allocation is often on a “first-come, first-serve” basis. Accordingly, taking advantage of these programs in a timely fashion will be critical.
  6. After a seven day comment period, the Action Plan will be submitted to HUD for approval.

A more complete summary of the Action Plan is attached here.

The complete Action plan is attached here.

The DCA resource page is linked here.