TRENTON – Officials are encouraging New Jerseyans displaced from their homes due to damage from Hurricane Sandy to use an online housing locator to help them quickly find affordable transitional or long-term housing. The New Jersey Housing Resource Center (HRC), located on the web at www.NJHRC.gov, is a free service to people in search of affordable housing and to landlords who are looking to provide housing. People without internet access can call the bilingual toll-free number 1-877-428-8844 for help using this service.
“Helping residents recover from the destruction of Hurricane Sandy is this Administration’s top priority,” said Gov. Chris Christie. “That’s why it’s critical that as many housing options as possible be made available to citizens displaced from their homes by the storm. The long-term transitional housing alternatives through the HRC will provide New Jersey families the foundation needed as they begin to rebuild their lives.”
The HRC website is being updated on a daily basis with transitional or long-term housing options. The site consolidates rental resources identified and provided by the New Jersey Apartment Association, New Jersey Association of Realtors, New Jersey Builders Association, landlords, private organizations, federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the public to help individuals and families find available rental units in their area. Currently, there are more than 2,200 housing opportunities available on the HRC website throughout the state of New Jersey.
“We are encouraging property providers to do two things,” said New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III, who is chair of the Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. “First, we are asking them to consider adjusting lease terms to help quickly accommodate housing needs. Second, we are urging them to log on to the HRC website to take advantage of this free and easy way to promote their open units.”
People visiting the HRC website can click the Hurricane Sandy information bar at the top of the webpage to search specifically for temporary housing due to the storm. The page that opens will display a list of available temporary housing properties throughout New Jersey. Presently, more than 160 properties are listed. People can also call 1-877-428-8844 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. to find housing.
Updates and new listings will continue. If a visitor to the website cannot find a suitable property on the temporary housing list, they can instead choose “Rentals” from the HRC menu, select the city or county in which they would like to rent a property, and browse the available selections. To determine if a property is available for occupancy by Sandy survivors, the user should contact the landlord directly to discuss their specific housing needs.
In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Socialserve.com has updated and added more than 3,000 available housing units in New Jersey and New York. It has also emailed and called over 10,000 landlords in the impacted areas, offering assistance in adding and updating listings.
To ensure that displaced residents can find stable housing quickly, the Christie Administration is urging all property providers to list available rental housing by going to www.NJHRC.gov and clicking on “Add Housing.” The process of listing an available unit takes about 10 minutes, is completely free and can be done online or by calling 1-877-428-8844.
Launched in 2005, the HRC website was created by the HFMA to provide a central location for people to search for affordable housing in New Jersey. The HMFA, an affiliated agency of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, continues to fund and support the website. The Agency has also partnered with the non-profit organization Socialserve.com to provide web-based and call center-based housing location services for Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.
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