HAZARD MITIGATION PROGRAM HITS MILESTONE JUST SIX MONTHS AFTER FIRST APPROVALS
BRIGANTINE -- Commemorating the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy in Brigantine, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno today announced that New Jersey has surpassed the 1000-mark for grants approved under the Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) elevation program.
The elevation program assists with costs associated with home elevation to protect against future flooding and storms. Eligible homeowners receive up to $30,000 for a broad range of work, including engineering, construction, permits and utility work. Structures must be deemed structurally sound to be eligible. The money is reimbursed after the work is completed.
"With every elevation, we are protecting families and their possessions from future storms," said Lt. Governor Guadagno. "I am proud to announce this major milestone in our collective efforts to recover from the worst natural disaster in the State's history and am confident that DEP will continue to process grant applications and reimbursements expeditiously."
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently approved nearly $4.5 million in grant awards for 148 properties. This brings the total of approved grants statewide to 1,064, representing nearly $32 million in award approvals to date. The DEP hit this milestone just six months after announcing the first round of approvals in Brigantine in April. Fifty-seven approved home elevation projects are currently moving forward in this municipality.
"This Administration is committed to a comprehensive recovery strategy that will make New Jersey stronger and more resilient to future storms," said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. "These elevation grants are an important component of this effort. We are continuing to work hard to get future grants processed as quickly as possible."
Some 2,500 homes in Brigantine were impacted by Superstorm Sandy, hundreds of which were substantially damaged, according to Brigantine Mayor Phil Guenther.
"It's clear to us that elevating homes is the best long-term mitigation strategy to minimize future property damage," said Mayor Guenther. "Brigantine had the first 26 homes approved for this program and DEP has been very effective every step of the way. They've done a very good job with outreach."
New Jersey has committed $100 million in HMGP funds to potentially elevate approximately 2,700 primary residential structures, mostly in the nine counties most impacted by Superstorm Sandy - Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union.
To date, the DEP has submitted more than 1,400 applications to FEMA and expects more approvals in the near future. More than half of the homeowners who have applied for elevation grants are in Ocean and Monmouth counties.
The Lt. Governor was joined at the announcement by DEP Deputy Commissioner David Glass and Mayor Guenther.
For more information on the HMGP program, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/special/hurricane-sandy/hmgp.htm.
For more information on Sandy recovery efforts in New Jersey, visit http://www.state.nj.us/gorr/ and http://www.state.nj.us/dep/special/hurricane-sandy/.