Category Archives: NJ Gov

Mobile Cabinet Thursday in Asbury Park

Trenton, NJ – The Christie Administration will hold Mobile Cabinet office hours in Asbury Park on Thursday, April 11, 2013 at the Asbury Park City Hall (One Municipal Plaza Asbury Park, NJ 07712) from 9am – 5pm. Representatives from state and federal agencies, including the Governor’s Office of Constituent Relations, the Department of Banking and Insurance, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Community Affairs, the Business Action Center, FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), will be on hand to assist residents and discuss ongoing recovery and rebuilding efforts.

FEMA Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program Extended A Final Time To April 30

Trenton, NJ – The Christie Administration today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) Program has been extended, at the Administration’s request, to April 30, 2013, with a check-out date of May 1, 2013. This will be the final extension sought by the State and will provide the necessary time to continue aggressive outreach and case management to migrate individuals from the program to more suitable and long-term housing solutions. TSA may appropriately terminate between now and April 30th, as individuals’ housing solutions are identified in advance of that date. As a result of exhaustive casework that included personal outreach to Sandy-displaced families in the program, the Administration and FEMA have determined that virtually all participants in the TSA program will have long-term housing plans in place by April 30 and, accordingly, will no longer require the extraordinary assistance offered through the TSA program.

“FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program has been invaluable in giving Sandy-displaced families the time they need to find a safe, suitable housing solution that works for them,” said Governor Christie. “Now, six months after Sandy’s landfall, we are able to conclude the program with an effort to help the last remaining families solidify a long-term housing solution. I thank FEMA for their work with us to keep this program running as long as was required to secure the best possible housing options displaced families, and bring a successful close to the program.”

Intensive outreach through in-person counseling, telephone calls, and electronic notification has succeeded in finding more suitable housing solutions for the overwhelming majority of households assisted by the program. As of today, approximately 219 Sandy-displaced New Jersey residents are being housed through the TSA program. In cooperation with FEMA, the State Departments of Community Affairs and Human Services will continue proactive casework with these remaining residents to identify and secure a long-term housing solution that meets their individual needs in a more appropriate and lasting way than hotel occupancy.

At New Jersey’s request, FEMA launched its Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program on November 1. The program allowed eligible Superstorm Sandy survivors who could not return to their homes because of damage caused by the storm to stay in participating hotels or motels until more suitable housing was found. All individuals and households in the program had to register with FEMA; pass identity verification; and demonstrate that they were displaced from a primary residence located in a geographic area impacted by Superstorm Sandy.

“The FEMA/State partnership has been a seamless effort to help these displaced families and we continue to support the state in all their efforts on behalf of the residents of New Jersey,” said Gracia Szczech, the FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer for New Jersey.

Through the program, FEMA and the State have been able to provide transitional sheltering accommodations for more than 5,500 displaced families. Approximately 435 hotels have participated in TSA since the program was activated. More than 253,425 room nights have been provided to families or individuals needing shelter as a result of Superstorm Sandy, with an average length of stay of 31 days. The total cost of the program through March 31 was $33,959,272.36.

“We promised to help all families in the TSA program develop and finalize a plan for moving into adequate, longer-term housing and we are delivering on that promise,” said New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III. “Between now and April 30, we will continue to work collaboratively with FEMA, the New Jersey Department of Human Services, the American Red Cross, county welfare agencies, and others to address as many outstanding needs as possible.”

To help displaced families locate permanent housing, the DCA has partnered with the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency and with the non-profit organization Socialserve.com to frequently update and add new rental listings to the New Jersey Housing Resource Center, which is a free service at www.NJHRC.gov for people in search of affordable housing and for landlords who are looking to provide housing.

The Christie Administration has also set aside 1,000 Special Admissions vouchers, which are provided through the DCA-administered Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. They are designed to help low-income, Sandy-displaced residents move into decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private rental market by reducing housing costs through direct rent subsidy payments to landlords. Special Admissions households that meet the income eligibility requirements pay no more than 30 percent of their monthly income towards their housing cost.

Individuals who have questions regarding the TSA program should contact the FEMA helpline at 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA).

To register with FEMA, call the phone number listed above or visit www.disasterassistance.gov on the Internet.

Opening of Bayshore Family Success Center in Union Beach

Trenton, NJ – Bringing additional services to support residents and families of the northern Monmouth County bayshore area impacted by Superstorm Sandy, Acting Governor Kim Guadagno and Department of Children and Families (DCF) Deputy Commissioner Jeffrey Guenzel today marked the official opening of New Jersey’s 51st Family Success Center (FSC) in Union Beach. The Bayshore Family Success Center, operated by the Community YMCA, is located at the Union Beach Memorial Library and will serve the communities of Atlantic Highlands, Belford, Highlands, Keansburg, Keyport, Leonardo and Union Beach. 

“The Christie Administration recognizes the vital work of the FSCs in changing lives and positively influencing communities one family at a time,” said Acting Governor Guadagno. “For the families in these northern Monmouth County communities who continue to face the challenges of rebuilding in the aftermath of Sandy, this new FSC will offer a place where they have access to a variety of tools to recover, succeed and look to the future. Like so many other FSCs across the state, we know that Bayshore will be a key resource for families of this community for years to come.”

The Governor’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget protects funding for FSCs at $9.7 million in state funds along with $2.5 million in federal funds. Because of the Governor’s commitment to these critical services, the number of FSCs in New Jersey has increased from 42 to 51 under the Christie Administration. Since 2010, the number of unduplicated families served by the centers have increased by nearly 63 percent, from 37,820 to 61,755.

The Community YMCA received $300,000 in state funding to establish the Bayshore Family Success Center. DCF also increased the current funding of the Ocean County Family Success Center by $60,000 (for a total of $300,000) so services in that county can be expanded as a result of the impact of Sandy.

“Our goal is to provide parents and families access to the services, supports and resources they need at the Family Success Center before they find themselves in a crisis,” said DCF Deputy Commissioner Guenzel. “We want to help guide and support parents while they are raising and providing care to their children, even when faced with difficulties that are stressful.”         

Some of the free services provided by the Bayshore Family Success Center include: supportive counseling for parents raising children; classes and support groups for families, single parents and teens; parent-child activities; and a variety of workshops on topics such as stress reduction, financial literacy, leadership/empowerment, education, employment, domestic violence, nutritional awareness, healthcare resources, and financial assistance.

Through DCF, the State funds a network of FSCs as “one stop” sites that provide wrap-around resources and supports for families before they find themselves in crisis. FSCs provide community-based, family-centered neighborhood gathering places where community residents can go for family support, information, referrals and access to services at no cost. 

To learn more about the Family Success Centers located throughout New Jersey, visit www.nj.gov/dcf and click the “Families” tab on the home page.

$15 Million in FEMA Public Assistance Grants to State of New Jersey

Trenton, NJ – The Christie Administration announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded over $15 million total in federal grants for Sandy-related repair and replacement costs to the Atlantic Highlands Harbor in Atlantic Highlands and to the North Hudson Sewerage Authority located in Hoboken for emergency protective measures.

In Atlantic Highlands, federal funding will be used for the rehabilitation and repair of the Atlantic Highlands Harbor Piers, which sustained significant damage during Superstorm Sandy. Rehabilitation of the Marina Piers will include repair work to 12 piers, including the repair of launching ramps, gangways and railings on 8 fixed wood piers and 4 floating piers; the Observation Platform and other observation decks; access ramps; and all utilities on the damaged docks, including water, electric sanitary and the fuel system.

Located in Hoboken, the North Hudson Sewerage Authority will be awarded federal funds for the use of force account equipment and contractors for storm preparedness, as well as emergency measures to keep and restore the operations of their treatment facilities and pump stations following Sandy. The North Hudson Sewerage Authority serves the communities of Hoboken, Union City, Weehawken and West New York.

The recipients, total project costs and FEMA grant totals are as follows:

  • ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS HARBOR (Atlantic Highlands, Monmouth). The total cost of the project is $19.3 million. FEMA’s share of the cost is $14.4 million.
  • NORTH HUDSON SEWERAGE AUTHORITY (Hoboken, Hudson). The total cost of the project is $1.3 million. FEMA’s share of the cost is $1.0 million.

Public Assistance reimburses local and county governments and certain nonprofit organizations for eligible disaster-related costs including emergency protective measures, debris removal and public infrastructure repair or replacement costs. 

Deadline Extension to May 1st for Sandy Disaster Assistance Registration

Trenton, NJ – The Christie Administration announced today that New Jersey residents impacted by Superstorm Sandy now have until May 1, 2013 to register for individual disaster assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The deadline extension applies for homeowner, renter, and business registration with the Small Business Administration (SBA) for Disaster Loan Assistance.  With this extension, the FEMA and SBA registration periods will now remain open for a full 6 months after Superstorm Sandy made landfall in New Jersey.

“It is vitally important for people to know that the FEMA individual assistance registration process is essential to receiving any type of federal disaster assistance – including grant assistance for homeowners and renters as outlined in our CDBG disaster relief action plan.  This deadline will help us ensure that every affected New Jerseyan gets registered,” said Governor Christie.  “Registering with FEMA is the first step and most important gateway for families to obtain relief across a host of federal and state relief plans including individual assistance for losses due to Sandy and programs to help rebuild or reconstruct to safer standards, and for businesses to access low interest loans and grant programs to get back up and running.”

It is crucial that individuals register with FEMA – FEMA can provide disaster assistance for individuals and families that can include money for rental assistance, essential home repairs, personal property losses and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.

People with storm losses in all counties can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov and via smart phone or tablet here.

Survivors also can register by phone or 711/VRS by calling 800-621-3362, TTY800-462-7585.

At the request of the State, FEMA extended the registration deadline another 30 days due to the magnitude of the storm disaster.

The disaster registration process serves as a referral point for FEMA programs and those of partner agencies such as the SBA, American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

FEMA Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program Extended Again

Trenton, NJ – The Christie Administration today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) Program has been extended at the Administration’s request for an additional 14 days to the end of April 5, 2013. The extension means eligible people can receive TSA assistance through April 5 with a check-out date of April 6, 2013.

“We thank FEMA for continuing to extend the Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program in order to give Sandy-displaced families additional time to find more permanent housing,” said Governor Christie. “We will continue to request extensions until all families in the program have a safe, suitable housing solution.”

FEMA activated its Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program in the immediate aftermath of Superstorm Sandy at New Jersey’s request. The program allows eligible survivors who cannot return to their homes because of damage caused by the storm to stay in participating hotels or motels until more suitable housing is available. Individuals and households in the program had to register with FEMA for assistance; pass identity verification; and demonstrate that they are displaced from a primary residence located in a geographic area that is designated for TSA.

“We understand that in order for families to truly begin to recover from the immense devastation Sandy inflicted on their lives, they need long-term housing stability. For that reason, we’ve worked closely with FEMA, the New Jersey Department of Human Services, the American Red Cross, and county welfare agencies to review each and every family’s needs and help them solidify a housing plan,” said New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III. “We’ve made considerable progress and will continue our exhaustive casework over the next two weeks to help the families remaining in the program.”

As of today, approximately 495 Sandy-displaced New Jersey residents are being housed through the TSA program.

Households are not eligible for extension if they have previously checked out of TSA hotels. Also, new families will not be eligible for the program unless FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer for New Jersey or the Officer’s designee approves eligibility based on an extenuating circumstance.

To help displaced families locate permanent housing, the DCA has partnered with the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency and with the non-profit organization Socialserve.com to frequently update and add new rental listings to the New Jersey Housing Resource Center, which is a free service at www.NJHRC.gov for people in search of affordable housing and for landlords who are looking to provide housing.

Owners of rental housing – be it furnished or unfurnished, with short-term leases or long-term leases – are urged to list available rental units on the Housing Resource Center. FEMA and relief workers are using the online site everyday to aid storm survivors locate housing. Landlords are also encouraged to adjust lease terms if needed to accommodate displaced families.

Individuals who have questions regarding their eligibility should contact the FEMA helpline at 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA).

To register with FEMA, call the phone number listed above or visit www.disasterassistance.gov on the Internet.

FEMA Approves $2.2 Million Public Assistance Project in Monmouth Beach

Trenton, NJ – The Christie Administration announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved a Public Assistance project for $2.2 million (with $1.6 million FEMA share) to reimburse the town of Monmouth Beach for debris removal costs following Superstorm Sandy.

Funding will cover costs incurred for the use of force account personnel, as well as equipment and contractors for the loading and hauling of debris throughout the town over a period of approximately two months.

Public Assistance is a cost-share program that reimburses local and county governments and certain nonprofit organizations for eligible disaster-related costs including emergency protective measures, debris removal and public infrastructure repair or replacement costs. The program is administered by the State of New Jersey.

Christie Administration Mobile Cabinet in Highlands Monday

Officials Will Help Residents Resolve Sandy-Related Issues

HIGHLANDS, NJ – On Monday, March 18th, the Christie Administration will host a Mobile Cabinet in Highlands to help residents rebuild and recover following Superstorm Sandy.

All day long between the hours of 9:00am to 5:00pm, residents affected by Sandy will have access to representatives from the Departments of Banking and Insurance, Community Affairs, Environmental Protection, the Business Action Center, SBA, and FEMA to answer their questions and help resolve any issues they have.

Monday, March 18, 2013
9:00am – 5:00pm

Location:
PTAK Towers Community Room
215 Shore Drive
Highlands, NJ

Street parking is available.

Extended :FEMA and SBA Registration Deadlines

Trenton, NJ –  FEMA approved the State’s request for a 30 day deadline extension for Superstorm Sandy survivors to registers for assistance with FEMA and SBA.   Homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and nonprofit organizations impacted by Sandy now have until April 1, 2013 to register with FEMA and complete Small Business Administration (“SBA”) disaster loan applications. Applicants  should know that it is not necessary to wait on insurance to settle and that New Jerseyans should apply as soon as possible. It’s also important not to let the word “business” in SBA’s name mislead you; over 85% of all their disaster loans are to individuals for their primary residence and personal property losses.

It is crucial that individuals register with FEMA and that businesses and individuals complete the SBA loan application so State officials can continue to compile an accurate, comprehensive picture of the damage and the need for additional disaster recovery assistance. Moreover, for businesses, an SBA Disaster Loan represents the best opportunity for disaster assistance. While there are other programs that will provide assistance, those programs may be less comprehensive and more limited than what an SBA loan has to offer.

CRITICALLY, eligibility for future programs may be tied to survivor registration with FEMA and the SBA Disaster Loan application.  All disaster survivors should register to be in the SBA registration rolls, in addition to FEMA’s individual assistance database.  

There is no obligation to accept an SBA disaster home loan even after applying, but homeowners and renters may become eligible for additional FEMA grants if they are not approved for or choose to not accept a loan.

While over 133,500 individuals (homeowners, property owners, and renters) have received an SBA disaster loan application, only 20,830 applications have been returned so far. Individuals who have delayed in registering with FEMA may not be getting access to the federal disaster assistance programs they need or are eligible for. Furthermore, while nearly 37,400 businesses have also registered with FEMA for assistance and have received an SBA disaster loan application, a little less than 3,950 applications have been received so far. Business owners, homeowners, renters, and property owners who have declined to submit an SBA disaster loan application for business or home repairs, or property replacement, may limit their ability to ultimately obtain grants and other assistance that may become available.

We urge you to advise individuals and businesses to register with FEMA to get their immediate needs met and to complete the SBA loan application to ensure opportunities for future assistance remain open.

There are several ways to apply:

  • Survivors also can register by phone or 711/VRS by calling 800-621-3362, TTY800-462-7585.
  • For information about the disaster loan process, or to have an application mailed to you, email [email protected] or call 1-800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing)

NJ Gets 30-Day Extension for Sandy Disaster Assistance Registration

Trenton, NJ – The Christie Administration announced today that New Jersey residents impacted by Superstorm Sandy now have until April 1, 2013 to register for individual disaster assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The deadline extension applies for homeowner, renter, and business registration with the Small Business Administration (SBA) for Disaster Loan Assistance, another important step in the disaster relief process to ensure survivors obtain all relief they are eligible for. 

“This 30-day extension will help us ensure that anyone who has been affected by Sandy gets the help they need and deserve,” said Governor Christie. “It’s vitally important for people to know that the process of receiving any type of federal disaster assistance – including future grant assistance for homeowners and businesses – begins with registering as a disaster survivor with FEMA and working with a coordinator to determine eligibility for relief. I encourage those who have not yet registered with FEMA and SBA to do so now to get the relief they are entitled to and to ensure their eligibility for any future relief we can offer.”

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