TRENTON — While New Jersey survivors of Hurricane Sandy have until March 1 to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for disaster assistance, more than $780 million in disaster assistance has been approved to speed recovery.
FEMA has approved more than $300 million in housing assistance for more than 52,000 people. Housing assistance includes temporary rental assistance and grants to repair and replace storm-damaged primary residences. More than $42 million has been approved to help survivors replace hurricane-damaged personal property and to help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.
In rare cases, FEMA is providing temporary housing to Sandy survivors. Empty apartments at Fort Monmouth are being renovated to house some survivors. More than 40 apartments are occupied and when work is complete, there will be 115 units ranging from one bedroom to four bedrooms. FEMA is also installing a limited number of manufactured homes at commercial mobile home parks.
Homeowners and renters are also being helped with low-interest disaster loans. The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved $277 million in loans to individuals. Another $31.7 million has been approved for New Jersey businesses.
More than $129 million has been channeled to state and local governments to help remove hurricane debris and restore disaster-damaged roads, bridges and other infrastructure. Among the largest grants was $11.2 million to the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission for emergency repairs to a wastewater treatment plant that serves 48 communities and treats 330 million gallons of sewage daily.
FEMA and federal partners such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have helped local communities replace critical public facilities damaged by the hurricane. The Sea Bright Fire Department, for example, was knocked out of commission by storm damage. The Corps set up a temporary fire station with a four-bay fire truck tent and a 56-foot trailer in a beach access parking lot.
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