New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie released his proposed Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery Action Plan on March 12. Today, he submitted the final plan for federal review. New Jersey’s two U.S. Senators want the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to examine the plan as quickly as humanly possible.

Sandy flooding in NJ. (Mario Tama, Getty Images)

“With families still struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy and the summer tourism season fast approaching, it is essential that this federal aid begin flowing as soon as possible,” Senators Frank Lautenberg and Bob Menendez wrote to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, the official in charge of coordinating the long-term federal response to Sandy.

Once the State's plan is approved, more than $1.8 billion in federal resources will start to be dispersed to help homeowners rebuild and elevate their homes, provide grants and no-interest loans to small businesses, rehabilitate rental properties, and support local governments.

“Superstorm Sandy caused unprecedented damage, and New Jersey needs immediate access to our share of this new federal funding so that we can begin to rebuild homes, support businesses, and strengthen public infrastructure to mitigate damage from future storms,” wrote the Senators.

Sandy Relief Aid Package

In total, Congress enacted $60.2 billion in Sandy aid, including $16 billion in CDBG funding, which was the single largest appropriation of CDBG funding in history. New Jersey is submitting its plan to use funding from the first round of disaster CDBG funding. More rounds are expected.

CDBG funding can be used for a number of purposes, including:

  • Support for damage not covered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Small Business Administration, or insurance;
  • Federal grants for rebuilding destroyed homes and repairing damage;Buying out or elevating homes;
  • Federal grants to support small businesses;
  • Rebuilding various types of public infrastructure, including schools, hospitals and buildings.