Written by Staff Reports Thursday, August 28, 2014 04:16 pm
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The Christie Administration today announced the distribution of 236 more federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) awards to assist homeowners with costs incurred in elevating their homes to protect against future flooding and storms, bringing the total awards to nearly 700 in six counties.
In the latest round of grant awards, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved applications from the Department of Environmental Protection for properties in 38 municipalities in five counties, bringing the total of approved post-Superstorm Sandy elevation grant awards to 696, totaling approximately $21 million.
“These grants will help families in many towns that were devastated by Sandy to elevate their homes and be much more resilient to future storms,”' said Gov. Christie. “We continue pressing hard to get the grants out as quickly as possible to make sure those families who are still recovering from Sandy get the help they need to be better protected in the future.”
Under the HMGP Elevation Program, eligible recipients receive up to $30,000 for a broad range of work associated with home elevations, including engineering, construction, permits and utility work. The money is reimbursed after the work is completed. Homes must be deemed structurally sound to be eligible.
“These grants offer vital financial assistance to our residents who are elevating their homes to offer more protection against future storms and flooding,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. “In addition to moving people and property out of harm's way, elevating homes can lower flood insurance premiums for homeowners by helping them comply with FEMA flood maps.”
The DEP has submitted more than 1,200 post-Sandy elevation applications to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and expects more approvals in the near future, according to state officials. More than half of the homeowners who have applied for elevation grants are in Ocean and Monmouth counties.
The latest round of elevation awards will be made to property owners in Atlantic, Monmouth and Ocean counties — which bore the brunt of damage from Superstorm Sandy - and to some homeowners in Cape May and Middlesex counties. A first round of awards was approved in April for 26 homeowners in Brigantine in Atlantic County, and subsequent grants have been awarded to property owners in six counties.
The 236 awards announced today will be made to homeowners in Brigantine, Egg Harbor Township, Margate and Ventnor in Atlantic County; Ocean City in Cape May County, and to other towns in the state, including several in Ocean County.
A series of community meetings with the latest grant recipients will be held in the near future to help guide them through the final steps of the grant award process.
New Jersey has committed $100 million in HMGP funds provided by FEMA to elevate approximately 2,700 primary residential structures mostly in the nine counties deemed by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development as most impacted by Superstorm Sandy - Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union.
For more on Sandy recovery efforts in New Jersey, see http://www.state.nj.us/gorr/ and http://www.state.nj.us/dep/special/hurricane-sandy/