Federalism at work – for better or for worse

Some days you just have to wonder about our federal system and how ponderous it can be when it comes to serving its citizens after a disaster. This story highlights the role of NJ state government in its role as recipient of a presidential disaster declaration and the federal funds that flow from it.  In my view, the victims of  Superstorm Sandy, not to mention the general public, might expect a quicker pace from state government. Superstorm Sandy occurred in October 2012, yet this article is dated April 21.

$1.8B in post-Sandy federal grants might not reach homeowners until July

Victims of Hurricane Sandy, expecting federal grants of up to $150,000 to help them rebuild their battered homes, will have to wait until summer before they see any money, the governor said Thursday.

Gov. Chris Christie said he hopes the federal government next week approves the nearly $1.8 billion earmarked for a massive New Jersey rebuilding program. Some $600 million of that will be reserved for homeowners to repair and elevate their houses.

But that money might not reach homeowners until July, Christie said in Long Branch Thursday.

Richard Constable, commissioner of the state Department of Community Affairs, said earlier this week his department still has to build the framework for administering the funds. And Christie said the application process for homeowners will require environmental approvals.

Business owners, meanwhile, may get grants sooner, Christie said. Nearly $500 million of the $1.8 billion fund would go to small-business grants, community revitalization programs and a tourism marketing campaign.

“The business side will happen much more quickly because the application process on the business side is much easier ….

2 thoughts on “Federalism at work – for better or for worse

  1. Many of the long term recovery committees/groups in both NJ and NJ are receiving questions from their clients as to when CDBG dollars will be available to assist them. By the time funds go to the administrative agent in the state and onto program administrators, we are still looking at months. However, survivors/clients often hear “$1.7 billion” and assume the funding will flow in quickly.

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