New Jersey Realtors have opened a window of availability for relief funding up to $2,000 for Garden State households affected by the remnants of Hurricane Ida.

Past President Jean Bonilla said any impacted resident is eligible, not just realtors and the properties they oversee themselves.

"This is an important issue to realtors, because this is a community where we work in, and we know the power of home and how precious it is," Bonilla said.

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After the storm tore through New Jersey, NJ Realtors applied for and was awarded a grant from the Realtors Relief Foundation.

"This relief fund is made up of funding from both national and local realtors who contribute to it, and it's available during these times," Bonilla said. "The last time we utilized these funds was during Superstorm Sandy in 2012."

Speaking of Sandy, many reports of fraudulent claims have surfaced in the near-decade since that storm, specifically regarding residents who tried to claim a vacation home or shore house as their primary residence.

Bonilla said a repeat of that with this particular program is not likely.

"We will check tax rolls, we will do some other items that will ensure as best we can that they are actually using this property as a primary residence," she said.

The maximum is $2,000, to be disbursed at once and used toward monthly mortgage or rental payments. Bonilla recommended applying as soon as possible, as the funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, and may run out quickly.

"In New Jersey, we all know that $2,000 doesn't go very far, but at least it may assist somebody who has been displaced," Bonilla said.

The deadline to apply is Oct. 31. For more information, visit relief.njrealtor.com.

Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com.

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