June is National Homeownership Month!

Jody and Fran being interviewed on the seventh anniversary of Superstorm Sandy on Fran's flooded street
Jody and Fran being interviewed on the seventh anniversary of Superstorm Sandy on Fran’s flooded street

June is National Homeownership Month, and that’s why we are asking you to take action for Sandy homeowners who are still struggling to recover and be finished with the years of grueling challenges they have faced.  

Please reach out to your Congressional Representative to talk to them about:  The Security after Sandy Act. opens in a new windowH.R. 6765. Because of COVID-19, many of these Congressional Offices are closed, but you can leave a message and someone should get back to you.  You could also try and send a message or post a message on their Facebook Pages. 

If you have one of these folks for your Representative: 

Rep. Andy Kim CD3 – 732.504.0490 – DC office 202.225.4765 opens in a new windowClick here to email.

Rep. Pallone  CD6 – 732.571.1140 – DC office  202.225 4671 opens in a new windowClick here to email.

Rep. Watson Coleman CD12 – 609.883.0026 – DC office  202.225.5801 opens in a new windowClick here to email.

Rep. Pascrell CD9 – 973.523.5152 – DC  office  202.225.5751 opens in a new windowClick here to email.

Rep Norcross  CD1  – 856.427.7000 – DC  office  202.225.6501 opens in a new windowClick here to email.

Rep. Malinowski CD7 – 908. 547.3301 – DC  office  202.225.5361 opens in a new windowClick here to email.

Rep. Payne CD10 – 973.645.3213 – DC office  202.225.3213 opens in a new windowClick here to email.

Rep. Sires  CD8 – 908.820.0692  – DC office  202.225.7919 opens in a new windowClick here to email.

PLEASE convey this message:  “Thank you for being signed on to H.R. 6765, it is critical to our family and community.  How can we get more support and sign ons from other states to move this critical legislation forward?”

If you have one of these folks for your Representative:

Rep. Jeff Van Drew  CD2 – 609.625.5008 – DC office  202.225.6572 opens in a new windowClick here to email.

Rep. Chris Smith  CD4 – 732.780.3035 – DC office  202.225.3765 opens in a new windowClick here to email.

Rep. Mikie Sherill  CD11 – 973.526.5668 – DC office  202.225.3186 opens in a new windowClick here to email.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer  CD5 – 973.814.4076 – DC office  202.225.4465 opens in a new windowClick here to email.

PLEASE convey this message:  “Please sign on to H.R. 6765 to stop financial distress for Sandy families.  While Superstorm Sandy hit landfall over seven years ago, we are still confronting the fallout and the COVID-19 outbreak has worsened the distress placed on communities and families from the storm.  At a time when unemployment has reached record highs and local budgets are stretched thin, federal agencies are asking municipalities and individual residents to pay back tens of millions of dollars in loans and grants issued for Sandy recovery efforts under disaster aid programs.  It’s not fair, it has to stop, we need your support.”  

To find out who your representative is, click here

Want to know what the HR 6765 “Security after Sandy” Act covers. Read about it opens in a new windowhere.

Here’s the background:  Sandy survivors have been waiting to become whole for almost 8 years. Over 1,500 people are being asked to repay funding from the state grant program due to duplication of benefits. These duplications are primarily due to survivors accepting ICC (Increased Cost of Compliance) and SBA loans.  This legislation would cover both Community Disaster Loans for towns, and the individual homeowners who are being asked for funds to be repaid.

Most critically, this legislation covers people that have been told they owe funds back because of errors made on the part of state recovery programs, SBA loans, and ICC funds.  While there are some other versions of legislation out there, and some of the folks you call and ask to sign on might mention that – as of today, this version is the only one that also includes ICC. 

Community Experiences:

“I followed all the guidelines presented to me by the RREM program, I followed the rules in my recovery and fought hard to finally make it home. I was told I could use my ICC (Increased Cost of Compliance through the National Flood Insurance Program) funding only to find out later that I was being penalized for doing so. My nightmare continues because now I’m being told I owe money back for a grant that was supposed to help me get home,” said Estelle Stolz, a New Jersey Organizing Project member from Little Egg Harbor.

” We tried to do everything right in our disaster recovery by listening to the so-called experts. We still ended up with a being told we owe money back to the state and that has continued to haunt us. Sandy survivors like us could really use a break.” Barbara Zukowski, a New Jersey Organizing Project member from Toms River.  

In the News:

5.9.2020  Asbury Park Press,  Jean Mikle – Bill would bar feds from Sandy victims to repay disaster funds

5.11.2020   101.5, Dino Flammia – Bill would end federal government clawback of Sandy funds

5.20.2020   Sandpaper, Jon Coen – New Jersey Organizing Project helps get clawback legislation to Congress

This action is sponsored by:  

Affordable Housing Alliance, SBP, NJ VOAD & the New Jersey Organizing Project

Organizations signed on: New Jersey Organizing Project, SBP, Affordable Housing Alliance, and NJVOAD (New Jersey Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster)

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