Financial Assistance Programs and Home Repair Resources

With a focus on the most impacted communities throughout the state, New Jersey has offered aid through grant awards to homeowners who were impacted by the storm. reNEWJERSEY Stronger is the website that provides information on federally funded programs that have been designed to assist in the repair and rebuilding of primary owner occupied residences.

The information that follows and our Funding Resources for Home Owners and Businesses page will provide you with details about programs initiated to help people who are struggling to rebuild. Many of these programs have stopped accepting applications.

Get Answers and Information on Housing Assistance Programs 

Contact the reNEW JERSEY Stronger Call Center at 1-855-SANDYHM (726-3946) from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday if you:

  • have submitted an application to the RREM or RSP programs and would like to find out what the status of that application is. (Be sure to have your application number when you phone.)
  • would like to reschedule your RSP closing appointment, confirm your RSP closing appointment, or confirm your RREM appointment
  • are inquiring about the status of your payment for RSP or RREM
  • have submitted an application to LRRP, HMGP, or the Sandy Homebuyer Program. (The Center does not have direct access to these applications, but will be able to get you connected with the appropriate department.)
  • have submitted an appeal and are inquiring about the status. (The Center does not have direct access to these applications, but will be able to get you connected with the appropriate department.)
  • you want some guidance on how to apply to LIP, withdraw from any of the grant programs, or appeal an ineligible decision.
  • you would like general information regarding any of the Hurricane Sandy grant programs
  • did not apply for assistance through any of these programs but are in need of help for a hurricane-related problem

Sandy Constituent Services Office - Knowledgeable Representatives Available to Address Recovery Questions

The Sandy Constituent Services Office in the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs is an additional resource Sandy-impacted residents can utilize if they have questions about their recovery projects in the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) Program, Low- to Moderate-Income (LMI) Homeowners Rebuilding Program or Landlord Rental Repair Program (LRRP). 

The primary contacts for questions about a rebuilding project remain the Housing or Landlord Advisor and Project Manager. However, if homeowners/renters need additional assistance, have a general recovery inquiry, or have questions about recovery programs other than RREM, the LMI Program or LRRP, DCA’s Sandy Constituent Services Office has knowledgeable representatives who can address these questions. The Sandy Constituent Services Office can be reached by calling (609) 292-3750 or (609) 633-1328 or by emailing sandy.recovery@dca.nj.gov.

Free Housing Counseling Available

Free HUD-certified housing counseling services are being offered to renters and homeowners who were impacted by Superstorm Sandy and lived in one of the nine counties most impacted by the storm at the time of Sandy. Offices are located in Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union counties and provide counseling programs that address a wide range of financial and housing challenges. Learn more.

Contractor Fraud and the RREM Program

Homeowners in the RREM program who are having problems with their contractors being very slow in finishing their work, or with work done poorly, can file a complaint with the Division of Consumer Affairs. In some cases, when the contractors have committed a criminal act, the homeowner MAY be entitled to additional money from RREM under the Fraud Policy. See the complete step-by-step guide from Community Health Law Project (CHLP) on how to file for the RREM Fraud Policy.

Assistance Programs Still Active

SSBG Rental Assistance Program

The Rental Assistance Program (RAP) offers the opportunity for eligible storm-affected homeowners with signed grant agreements in the RREM or the LMI Program, to get help with their rental costs as they wait for their home repairs to be completed. While there is no income restriction for participation, there are other eligibility criteria, which are dictated by federal regulation.

  • There must be an outstanding mortgage on the primary residence undergoing repair.
  • Participants must provide proof of their current mortgage payment.
  • Applicants must not have completed construction, rehabilitation or elevation of their primary home.
  • All participants must have a signed lease on a rental property since the assistance is paid to the rental property owner, not to the homeowner.

The Rental Assistance Program is not retroactive. RAP funds are only available to assist with rent going forward and may not be used as a reimbursement for previously paid or incurred rent. Information on the program and online applications are available here. Call 800-NJ-HOUSE (800.654.6873) or email ssbgrental@njhmfa.state.nj.us if you have further questions.

Furniture Replacement  and Home Repair Programs

Habitat for Humanity Monmouth Providing Home Furnishing Vouchers

Habitat for Humanity in Monmouth County is now offering a voucher program for Sandy affected households at their ReStore in Freehold. The voucher will provide up to $1,000 in assistance to approved applicants.

Eligible applicants must be of low to moderate income, titled owner of the dwelling and sustained damage to this primary residence during Hurricane Sandy. To be considered you must reside in one the following towns in Habitat for Humanity Monmouth’s service area: Aberdeen, Allentown, Atlantic Highlands, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatowntown, Englishtown, Fair Haven, Farmingdale, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Hazlet, Highlands, Holmdel, Howell, Keansburg, Keyport, Little Silver, Long Branch, Manalapan, Marlboro, Matawan, Middletown, Millstone Township, Monmouth Beach, Morganville, Ocean Township, Oceanport, Red Bank, Rumson, Sea Bright, Shrewsbury Township, Tinton Falls, Union Beach and West Long Branch.

Those with questions regarding the program should reach out to Maureen Maguire, Family Outreach Coordinator, at 732.728.0441 (ext.303) or through her emailLearn more.

Room in Our Hearts Furnishes One Room at No Cost
Room in Our Hearts, a nonprofit based out of Middletown in Monmouth County, offers residents help furnishing and decorating one room at no cost. The group wants to help more Sandy-affected households! All interested applicants must have a FEMA number in order to be eligible for the services. Contact Executive Director Katherine Koehler at kk@roominourhearts.org or 732.620.4944 for more information.

Homeowner's Guide to Sandy Home Repair Contracting
Hurricane Sandy left behind a historically high number of home repair and construction projects. The Community Health Law Project has prepared a guide to help homeowners avoid common repair and construction problems starting with finding and selecting a contractor, negotiating a contract, paying wisely and preventing and resolving disputes. Home improvement contracts include almost all work and services performed by contractors on residential properties except for new home construction and services provided by design professionals such as engineers and architects. Download the guide.

Lead Hazard Reduction Program

If your home was built before 1978 and you suspect lead might become exposed in your home or apartment as a result of Hurricane Sandy, the Community Affairs and Resource Center may be able to help you through their Lead Hazard Reduction Program. The program provides funding and free technical assistance to eligible homeowners and will provide the following services:

    • Basic education on Lead Safety
    • Lead assessment
    • Lead testing
    • Lead remediation
    • Rental assistance to tenants who must vacate their apartments to have remediation work done. This includes moving expenses.

For complete informaiton on the program, contact the program manager, Marjorie Bafaty, by phone (732.774.3282) or email.
Learn specific eligibility requirements here: English or Spanish
Learn about lead safety.

Sandy Relief Home Access Program

The NJ Division of Disability Services announced that the Sandy Relief Modular Ramp Program has expanded the scope of the program to include vertical platform lifts. The program, now called the Sandy Relief Home Access Program is able to provide vertical platform lifts for qualifying individuals whose property is not large enough to accommodate a modular ramp. Vertical platform lifts will be considered if a ramp is not a safe or feasible option.

The criteria for the program is the same:

    • A resident of NJ
    • Documentation of a physical disability
    • Proof of loss from Superstorm Sandy
    • Demonstrate that all other funding sources have been exhausted or unavailable

To learn more or apply for this program call 888.285.3036.

Home Repair and Advocacy Program Helps Senior and Disabled Hurricane Survivors

The Home Repair and Advocacy Program (HRAP) was introduced on November 19, 2013. This program was initiated to help seniors and individuals with disabilities whose primary homes were damaged by Superstorm Sandy. Assistance is still available to residents of Cape May County, Essex County and Monmoutn County. Eligible households could receive up to $5,000 (or up to $10,000 with an approved waiver) and will work with home repair coordinators who will review, organize and approve the work with vendors, as necessary. 

Funds from this program may be used for such things as: replacement of interior wall boards, mold remediation, restoration of heating and cooling systems, fixing electrical, patching roofs, cutting and removal of trees, debris disposal, and refurbishing of major home appliances. Individuals living in one of the three counties noted below should call the contact person noted. Funding will be available until September 30, 2017 or until funds run out.

HOME REPAIR AND ADVOCACY PROGRAM (HRAP) CONTACTS

CAPE MAY COUNTY
Cape May County Board of Social Services
Social Services Building
4005 Route 9 South
Rio Grande, NJ 08242
Contact: Steve Altman
Telephone: 609-886-6200, ext. 275

ESSEX COUNTY (will place your name on a waiting list)
Life Management LLC
77 Park Street
Montclair, NJ 07042
Contact: Ellen Paretti
Telephone:973-655-0536 

MONMOUTH COUNTY
Monmouth County Office of Community Development/Division of Planning
Hall of Records Annex
One East Main Street
Freehold, NJ 07728
Phone: Sharon Rafter, Director of Community Development
Phone: 732-431-7460, ext. 7546

Housing Recovery Resource Center for Monmouth and Ocean County Residents

The Affordable Housing Alliance provides housing counseling resources for Monmouth and Ocean County residents impacted by Sandy through their Housing Recovery Resource Center (HRRC). The HRRC staff are available to work with renters and homeowners to find viable and permanent housing solutions including:

    • Benefits Coordination
    • Mortgage Modification & Foreclosure Prevention
    • Housing Counseling and Budget Assessment
    • Homeownership Education Related to Storm Recovery
    • Mobile Outreach in Monmouth and Ocean Counties
    • Professional counselors available to assist residents in navigating the road to recovery whether they are replacing, rebuilding or relocating

The center, located at 171 First Street in Atlantic Highlands, is now open and staff are available to work with renters and homeowners to find viable and permanent housing solutions. It is staffed by HUD-certified housing counselors with more than 20 years experience in navigating complex decisions related to whether to repair, rebuild or relocate. The center's mobile unit will travel throughout the two counties and hold mobile events for those residents who are unable to get to the office. For more information call 732.982.5072 or visit their website. We will post news of local events here as we hear of them.

Coastal Habitat for Humanity's Neighborhood Revitalization Program

Coastal Habitat for Humanity serves the coastal communities of southern Monmouth County, reaching from Deal Road in Ocean, NJ on the north to the Monmouth/Ocean County line on the south and everything east of the Garden State Parkway. Homeowners located in this area whose home was damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy and who cannot afford the costs of repair or reconstruction may be able to get assistance with repairs through the Coastal Habitat for Humanity's Neighborhood Revitalization Program. Learn more/Download an Application. Call 732.974.2422 (ext. 4) if you would like to speak with a representative.

Financial Incentives through NJ's Clean Energy Program

Temporary financial incentives are being offered through New Jersey's Clean Energy Program to New Jersey residents, business owners and local government officials recovering from the damage of Hurricane Sandy.

If your home is located in a zip-code designated as a "major" or "minor" damaged area impacted by Hurricane Sandy, you may be eligible for these enhanced incentives on high efficiency equipment including furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, gas water heaters and mini-split units.

If you are located outside the eligible zip code list, you may also qualify for increased incentives by demonstrating that you have experienced damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. Applications for Hurricane Sandy relief incentives outside the eligible zip code list will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Qualifying equipment purchased on or after October 29, 2012 through June 30, 2014 is eligible.

Find application procedures, a list of qualifying locations, answers to frequently asked questions and more by going to NJ's Clean Energy Program website. Call 866-NJSMART, extension 4, to speak with someone about this incentive program.

Building to a Higher Standard - ICC Coverage

New advisory base flood elevation maps published in December by the Federal Emergency Management Agency show how high buildings should be elevated to minimize damage from future flooding. Building higher means higher costs, but rebuilding to old standards may prove even more costly because insurance premiums will be raised if new standards are not met and when the next super storm comes along you will still be in harm's way.

Flood insurance policyholders in high-risk areas, also known as special flood hazard areas, may get additional relief from their insurance carrier through a FEMA program known as Increased Cost of Compliance coverage. If policyholders meet eligibility requirements of the program they may get up to $30,000 to help pay the costs of satisfying their community's floodplain ordinance. 

The money can be used to raise your home or business to, or above, the flood elevation level adopted by your local government; to move your building out of harm's way; demolish it; or modifying it to make it flood-proof. 

Increased Cost of Compliance claims are paid only on flood-damaged homes in a high-risk area that don't already comply with the local flood plain ordinances. The amount of flood damage has to be declared by local authorities as substantial. The coverage can only be used to pay for costs of meeting the floodplain management ordinance in your community.

For more information on ICC coverage, call your insurance company or agent, or learn more online.

NJ Homekeeper Program and NJ HomeSaver Program

The New Jersey HomeKeeper Program offers up to $48,000 in forgivable mortgage assistance to New Jersey homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure as direct result of unemployment or underemployment. This program is not accepting applications at this time.

The New Jersey HomeSaver Program is accepting applications and offers eligible homeowners up to $50,000 in financial assistance to help bring their household monthly payment to an affordable level by using Hardest Hit Fund funds to facilitate a refinance, recast, or permanent modification of the first mortgage loan.

Homeless Prevention Program (HPP)

This program provides temporary assistance to households who are facing eviction or foreclosure because of conditions that have left them incapable of making payments. Natural disasters fall into this category but must be documented by the Red Cross or a letter from FEMA. This aid is temporary and is based upon income eligibility. Learn more about HPP.

Landlord Incentive Program

The Landlord Incentive Program is designed to make it financially possible for rental property owners of all sizes to provide safe, suitable and affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents who have found it difficult to locate housing since the storm.

The Program provides rental property owners with a steady revenue stream for at least two years to encourage them to rent their vacant apartments to families of limited financial means with the guarantee of receiving fair market value rent. Rental property owners will receive roughly the difference between 30 percent of the tenant’s monthly income and federal fair market rents each month. Each individual grant varies based on county, the property’s number of bedrooms, and the tenant’s income. You can learn more about this program, access an application for rental property owners and get a list of property owners who have received grant money for this purpose here.

Closed Programs

As time has gone on some programs have stopped accepting applications. They are listed below and presented for reference purposes only. Where available, we have provided a link for further information.
Landlord Rental Repair Program - The LRRP application period was from July 24, 2013 through November 15, 2013. The program is no longer accepting applications.
Sandy Homeowner and Renter Assistance Program (SHRAP), the Working Families Living Expenses Voucher - As of June 30, 2014 the Sandy Homeowner and Renter Assistance Program (SHRAP) is no longer accepting applications.
LMI Homeowners Rebuilding Program - Deadline for Applications was March 20, 2015 at 11:59 PM. 

Sandy Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program- As of April 6, 2015 the Sandy Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program is no longer accepting applications.


Page last modified/reviewed on October 17, 2016

If you know of additional resources that would be appropriate to include in this section, please let us know by contacting us via e-mail at info@nj211.org

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