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FEMA Applications Skyrocket After Sandy [AUDIO]

About 143,000 New Jerseyans have registered for federal disaster assistance with FEMA and officials say the number and the need will continue to grow.

Allison Joyce, Getty Images

“We have also approved $77 million in assistance to individuals so far” said Scott Sanders, a spokesman with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Sanders said aid is being distributed quickly. “Its going out to folks quickly, we are helping people as fast as we can.”

He said they have activated the transitional sheltering program.

“This is temporary housing for people that suffered storm related damages.”

And for those who need long-term help, there is the rental assistance program.

“This is more permanent housing for people that have lost everything and need to have their homes repaired or rebuilt.” said Sanders.

The agency will also be increasing rental assistance by 25% for victims of Sandy. The announcement came after FEMA found a limited number of affordable and available rental units in north Jersey. The increase is expected to make an additional 1,200 units available for displaced families.

“Its going to be a very lengthy process…I expect FEMA to remain in the state well through the beginning of next year, possibly until next summer,” added Sanders.

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