Sandy-impacted communities across New Jersey are receiving more than $31 million in grants to ensure essential services will continue to be provided to residents while the rebuilding continues.

Sandy damage in Highlands (Hope For Highlands)

The Essential Services Grants are funded through Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery monies provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"We recognize that some local governments hit hard by Sandy have been financially impacted by the storm.  As a result, they are having difficulties providing public safety, public works and education and other basic services that are critical to their residents," said Gov. Chris Christie.  "These Essential Services Grants will help local officials maintain basic services in their communities as the rebuilding process continues."

The grants are designed to fill the gap between local governments' Sandy-generated revenue losses and available Community Disaster Loans.

“Several municipalities and local government agencies have experienced, and will continue to experience, difficulties in meeting the demands and costs for critical public services as a result of the impacts of Superstorm Sandy,” said Richard Constable, III, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.  “Essential Services Grants are really a vehicle to bridge funding for these Sandy-impacted local governments as they work to get back on their feet.”

In order to receive grant assistance, local governments must meet a minimum of the following requirements:

  • Applying for insurance payments and all available federal assistance programs, including FEMA Public Assistance, FEMA Community Disaster Loan Program, and appropriately utilizing all such assistance to the extent available.
  • Demonstrating cost restraints to minimize the need for assistance.
  • Agreeing to allocate Essential Service Grant funds, if provided, only to essential services such as public safety and public works in accordance with CDBG Disaster Recovery requirements.
  • Ensuring updated emergency management plans.
  • Demonstrating a commitment to rebuilding public property; facilitating the reconstruction of ratables in a manner designed to minimize recurring damage; and pursuing efficiencies through shared services or consolidation as deemed appropriate by local officials to address changed populations or service models.

Get more information here.