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New FEMA Aid For Residents and Businesses In New Jersey and Connecticut, Say Governors

New Jersey home destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Photo courtesy of mymodernmet.com.

Nearly three months after one of the worst hurricanes in U.S. history, with people still displaced from their homes and businesses – if they still have any to go back to – help has been slow in coming, but at least it’s still coming.

New Jersey, one of the hardest hit states, is still working on getting displaced people back into permanent housing.

In New Jersey’s latest housing relief effort, the Christie Administration said that displaced households receiving FEMA rental assistance – currently living in hotels or motels – will now be allowed to use these funds to pay for security deposits so they can move into more permanent apartments.

The Christie Administration says that:

Households receiving FEMA rental assistance can utilize up to one month of their rental allotment for a security deposit and not have to give it back to FEMA at the end of the lease.

In general, FEMA provides an initial grant of two months of rent money to households that have been displaced due to Hurricane Sandy, but all households that receive FEMA rental assistance may ask for additional funding if they need it. They will need to show their lease and all receipts for rent and security deposits. FEMA rent money cannot be used to pay for telephone or television service or utilities.

If households have already paid a security deposit with their own money, FEMA is unable to provide reimbursement. However, if further rental assistance is needed, people can show the security deposit receipt to FEMA to support their request for additional rent money. Security deposits paid with FEMA money can cover damage by people or pets, provided they are clearly identified on the lease.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, in his State of the State address earlier this month, assessed the damages to his state saying that, “Sandy was the worst storm to strike New Jersey in 100 years. 346,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. Nearly 7 million people and 1,000 schools had their power knocked out. 116,000 New Jerseyans were evacuated or displaced from their homes. 41,000 families are still displaced from their homes.”

In a support effort, Christie’s office adds that the state and FEMA have resources that can help people find available local and regional housing.

The governor’s office says that there are currently over 2,000 rentals listed on the New Jersey Housing Resource Center website, where people can select the Temporary Housing Due to Hurricane Sandy option from the menu. Households can also search by individual communities to find convenient local housing.

People can also find a place to rent at the FEMA Housing Portal. In addition, people can also find more information about FEMA housing and disaster assistance by calling 1-800-621-3362 (TTY 1-800-462-7585) or 711/VRS or going to disasterassistance.gov.

Christie’s office says that, “residents affected by Hurricane Sandy can still register for disaster assistance through FEMA until Jan. 30, 2013.


Connecticut is also still struggling with displaced households, as well as destroyed or severely damaged homes and businesses on a massive scale from Hurricane Sandy.

Connecticut home destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Photo courtesy of examiner.com.

Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy announced earlier this month that, “more than $28 million in federal disaster assistance has been approved to help Connecticut residents with disaster-related expenses.”

A catalog of currently approved disaster assistance for the state includes:

  • Over $9.9 million for housing assistance, including short-term rental assistance and home repair costs.
  • Over $683,000 to cover other essential disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses, and lost personal possessions.
  • Over $17.7 million in low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, and businesses from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Currently, nearly 12,000 Connecticut residents in Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex, and New London counties, and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, and the Mohegan Tribal Nation have registered for federal disaster assistance.

Residents in Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex and New London, as well as businesses across the state who suffered damage from Hurricane Sandy are being encouraged to register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-3362 (TTY 1-800-462-7585) or 711/VRS or going to disasterassistance.gov.

Also of special importance, Governor Malloy’s office is advising Connecticut residents that, “If you received damage from Storm Sandy and live in one of the declared counties, you must register with FEMA before Jan. 28 to begin the disaster assistance process, if you haven’t done so already.”

Connecticut residents can also find out more about the state’s disaster relief effort at Connecticut’s “Storm Sandy Response and Recovery” official website.


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