With the latest round of funding – 132 grants were announced Monday – the state has delivered 460 hazard mitigation grants overall, totaling approximately $12 million in assistance to families whose homes were damaged in the Oct. 2012 storm and needed to be raised.
The $30,000 grants cover home elevations, including engineering, construction, permits and utility work, and come in the form of a reimbursement to homeowners.
“These grants are helping families in communities that were battered by Sandy to elevate their homes and make them more resilient to future storms,’’ said Gov. Chris Christie, in a statement. “We intend to continue pressing hard to get more grants out as quickly as possible to allow those still recovering to put their lives back together.’’The state Department of Environmental Protection, which is now overseeing the program, has submitted more than 1,200 post-Sandy elevation applications to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and expects more approvals in the near future.
The latest round of elevation awards will be made to property owners in Atlantic, Monmouth and Ocean counties, which bore the brunt of the battering from Sandy. A first round of awards was approved in April for 26 homeowners in Brigantine in Atlantic County, and subsequent grants have been awarded to property owners in seven counties, bringing the total to 460 property owners.
“These grants provide vital financial assistance to New Jersey residents who are elevating their homes to provide protection against future storms and floods,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin, in the statement issued Monday. “In addition to moving people and property out of harm’s way, elevating homes will likely lower flood insurance premiums for homeowners by helping them comply with FEMA flood maps.”
In all, New Jersey has committed $100 million in hazard mitigation funds provided by FEMA to elevate approximately 2,700 primary residential structures in the nine counties deemed by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development as most impacted by Superstorm Sandy – Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union, the statement said.
Information on grant programs and Sandy recovery can be found at a state website.