The American Red Cross and the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, chaired by First Lady Mary Pat Christie, announced that they are providing a total of $15.2 million for a new program to help eligible New Jersey homeowners rebuild.
Administered by New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC), the program will benefit homeowners who have been awarded Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) grants in Sandy-impacted communities. The program, entitled the RREM Gap Funding Initiative (www.gapfundinginitiative.org), received $10 million from the American Red Cross and a $5.2 million grant from the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund.
The Gap Funding Initiative will offer a maximum grant of $30,000 to eligible homeowners to fill the gap between their RREM awards and their total rebuilding costs. In order to be eligible for the funding, applicants must have been awarded a RREM grant, have a total household gross income of $100,000 or less and have a need in excess of the maximum RREM grant of $150,000.
“In partnering with the American Red Cross and New Jersey Community Capital on this program, we hope to help as many homeowners as possible obtain access to the federal funds they need to rebuild their homes,” said New Jersey’s first lady and chair of the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, Mary Pat Christie. “This grant seeks to help New Jersey homeowners fill the gap in total rebuilding costs. For instance, if the cost to fix an individual’s home is $200,000 and they are awarded $150,000 through the RREM program, they will be responsible for paying the $50,000 gap, according to the federally funded grant program. This $5.2 million grant to NJCC to fund the RREM Gap Funding Initiative program will help bring that family up to $30,000 closer to closing that gap, accessing RREM funds, and returning home.”
“This $10 million Red Cross grant, made possible by generous donations to the Red Cross, will assist low-to-moderate income families across New Jersey to rebuild,” said Jerry De Francisco, American Red Cross Humanitarian Services, who is overseeing the Red Cross Sandy recovery work. “Working together with the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund and New Jersey Community Capital, we want to help homeowners rebuild as soon as possible. Partnering with communities we serve is a critical part of our mission and we have worked beside our New Jersey neighbors from the early days of the storm response and will continue throughout the recovery process. We are very pleased to join with the first lady and our partners on this program.”
Due to federal requirements for the RREM program, homeowners must show they can cover any gap between the total cost of reconstruction and the $150,000 maximum grant. This initiative funded by the Red Cross and the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund will provide some or all of the additional funding many homeowners will need in order to rebuild. The maximum $30,000 homeowner grant will go directly to home construction costs.
“We thank the relief fund, the Red Cross and New Jersey Community Capital for working together to provide homeowners in our RREM program the extra boost of assistance they may need to get back home,” said Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Richard E. Constable III. “Earlier this month, homeowners started signing their RREM grant agreements and some may be in need of additional funds over and above their RREM award to complete construction and rehabilitation projects. The initiative announced today will go a long way to helping them get to the program’s finish line.”
“It is our privilege to bring our financial expertise to the management of this critical program,” said New Jersey Community Capital President Wayne T. Meyer. “We embrace the opportunity to partner with the American Red Cross and the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund to enable so many Sandy-impacted homeowners to rebuild their homes. By providing these homeowners with much-needed stability and by further restoring their communities, this program is another major step towards the recovery of New Jersey.”
For more information on the RREM Gap Funding Initiative being offered through New Jersey Community Capital please visit: www.gapfundinginitiative.org.