Poll: Many NJ Sandy victims feel ‘forgotten’
The overwhelming majority of New Jersey's hardest hit Superstorm Sandy victims feel left behind by the state and very few of them are satisfied with how the Garden State has handled the recovery effort, according to a new Monmouth University poll released Monday.
"Just one-in-three of those who were hardest hit by sandy are satisfied with the way the state has handled the recovery effort," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "Seventy-one percent of those who were hardest hit by Sandy say that they feel the state has forgotten, that the recovery efforts are focused elsewhere."
A year after the storm, Monmouth University surveyed more than 800 of the most impacted New Jersey residents to get their thoughts on recovery. For this poll, 747 people were surveyed including 630 who were re-interviewed.
Perhaps surprisingly, victims who are living in their pre-Sandy homes are less satisfied with the state's recovery efforts now (38 percent) than they were a year after the storm (44 percent). There is no official estimate of how many New Jersey families remain displaced, but the survey results indicate the number is still high.
"A year from the storm it was 50 percent who were back in their homes. Now it's about 60 percent. It's a very slow recovery and at this pace it might be five or 10 years before everybody is back in their homes," Murray said.
People who have been denied rebuilding help from the state (21 percent) are less likely to be satisfied with New Jersey's recovery efforts when compared with those who either have been approved for aid (38 percent) or didn't apply (40 percent).
The survey results also suggest there is a communication breakdown and many residents blamed the state. Only 36 percent say the state has done a good job keeping them informed about where they were in the process.
"Just 28 percent of the residents who were hard hit by Sandy say that it's been easy to get recovery information from the state," Murray said.