BRICK – Superstorm Sandy-impacted families can meet with state staffers to learn more about housing recovery programs and contractor fraud when the 42nd Housing Recovery Information session comes to Brick on March 22.
The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs will assist storm-affected homeowners participating in the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) Program and the Low- to Moderate-Income (LMI) Homeowner Rebuilding Program, as well as rental property owners participating in the Landlord Rental Repair Program (LRRP).
The session is from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Brick Township Municipal Complex at 401 Chambersbridge Road and will be broken into two parts:
During the first hour of the Information Session (3 to 4 p.m.), there will be two half-hour presentations. The first half-hour presentation will address contractor performance issues, including contractor fraud. The second half-hour presentation will guide RREM Program participants who have completed construction or are close to finishing construction through the steps of the Program’s closeout process.
During the final three hours of the Information Session (4 to 7 p.m.), participants of the RREM, LMI and LRRP programs can receive direct, hands-on assistance with their questions or issues from experienced representatives knowledgeable about the programs.
“We encourage participants in our housing recovery programs to come to the Information Session if they have questions about their project. With experts on hand to provide answers and offer guidance, it is a great opportunity for participants to get the information they need to keep moving forward with their recovery,” said New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Charles A. Richman.
Approximately 2,500 participants have attended previous Information Sessions held since October 2014.
Representatives from the DCA’s Sandy Recovery Division and Housing Recovery Centers will be present at the Information Session, as well as RREM and LRRP Program Managers, who can answer specific questions about the RREM Program, LMI Program and LRRP. Additionally, representatives of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs will be available to discuss best practices in selecting a reliable contractor to undertake rebuilding work.
Housing Counselors from the Sandy Recovery Housing Counseling Program will also be in attendance to offer RREM Program and LMI Program participants free HUD-certified housing counseling services for a wide array of housing-related issues, including foreclosure prevention, mortgages, budgeting, and rental guidance.
Furthermore, information will be available about the Rental Assistance Program (RAP), which helps homeowners in the RREM Program and LMI Program pay for temporary housing while their primary homes are being repaired, rebuilt or elevated. Through the RAP initiative, homeowners who have signed their grant agreement and meet other eligibility criteria are eligible for up to $1,300 per month for up to a total of 21 months of rental assistance.
The RREM Program is the largest of the housing recovery programs launched by the State following Superstorm Sandy. The program provides grants to Sandy-impacted homeowners to cover rebuilding costs up to $150,000 that are not otherwise funded by insurance, FEMA assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration loans, or other sources.
The LMI Homeowner Rebuilding Program provides reconstruction, rehabilitation and elevation assistance to Sandy-impacted homeowners of limited financial means whose storm-damaged primary residence is located in one of the nine most impacted counties as determined by the federal government. The program aims to provide assistance to LMI homeowners who did not apply to the RREM Program.
The LRRP Program provides up to $50,000 per storm-damaged rental unit to assist eligible rental property owners in repairing their residential rental properties. To be eligible for the award, a landlord must rent the repaired unit(s) to LMI households after project completion.
For more details about the Information Session, applicants may contact the DCA’s Sandy Constituent Services Office by calling 609-292-3750 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Sandy Recovery Housing Counseling Program and the Rental Assistance Program, people can visit renewjerseystronger.org.