Last year New Jersey was ravished by super storm Sandy which caused billions of dollars in damage. The hurricanes damage left many people homeless and there has been a push by the state to build development of affordable housing in impacted communities. The most impacted counties were determined by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development as Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union. Recently the Christie Administration stated that $2.65 million has been awarded by the federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Funds to cover the predevelopment cost of 603 units of affordable housing.
The New Jersey Redevelopment Authority is also providing low-interest loans to the developers that will provide the 603 units of affordable housing. The loans will range from $350,000 to $500,000 from the Redevelopment authority. The projects that will receive these loans must provide affordable housing units. The loans that are given with 1% interest which will be eligible for project feasibility studies, environmental studies, engineering studies, architectural fees, legal fess, and other soft costs. These loans will be able to provide affordable housing for communities that were impacted by super storm Sandy as well as low income families, senior citizens, individuals with special needs and people who are homeless.
Since super storm Sandy the Christie administration has directed $379 million to fund programs that replenish the stock of rental housing, repair affordable rental units that were uninhabitable by super storm Sandy, and affordable housing for residents in need. It has been anticipated that 7000 new affordable housing units statewide will be created over the next two years as a result of retail housing programs. One of the main problems with these funds is that the money is not being spread quickly enough to the places in need.
There are many areas in New Jerseys that need the support from the U.S. Government as well as state funding. It has been criticized every few years that homeowners get paid off for houses that get flooded. Flood insurance program collects $3.5 billion in premiums every year but the Federal Emergency Management Agency says $1.5 billion more is required from subsidized policy holders to put it on sound financial footing as required by the changes from super storm sandy. There is new legislation that require FEMA to conduct an overdue study about the affordability of imposing risk based rates on homeowners and directs a way to tackle affordability issues.