Program WIll Help Repair Rentals Damaged By Sandy
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Freehold. July 24, 2013
New Jersey is using $70 million of its federal Sandy aid to help repair rental units damaged by the storm.
The Landlord Rental Repair Program will provide grants of up to $50,000 for owners to repair, reconstruct and elevate rental units if they agree to rent the rehabilitated units to low- and moderate-income families.
Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable expects the program will help about 1500 renters and will also benefit landlords.
“What we don’t want to see are impacted units that remain vacant or impacted units that are blighting communities. What we hope is that landlords take us up on this, fix up or rehab their units, and then rent them out to folks of low to moderate income.”
Ted Gooding is President of Ocean Inc., a Toms River-based non-profit organization that's been helping families affected by Sandy. He says 30 percent of the properties the storm destroyed in Ocean County were rental units.
“We’re finding it every day that landlords are raising the rent on families that are here because the market is hot. We need more rental units. We need those units that were destroyed to be rehabbed and brought back on the market so we can put those folks in those homes.”
Gooding says thousands of families who lived in damaged rental units have gone as far away as Ohio and Florida. He says having more affordable housing will allow them to return to New Jersey so they can help staff businesses that are reopening.