THE LONG ROAD HOME

UNDERSTANDING SANDY RECOVERY AND LESSONS FOR FUTURE STORMS FIVE YEARS LATER

 

In partnership with Rutgers researchers and Stockton University’s service learning program, we have undertaken the first community-based participatory research project on Sandy recovery. Community Captains, volunteers who survived Sandy themselves and student partners, conducted interviews in neighborhoods and circulated an online version. We wanted to see where the recovery process was four plus years later and look at key questions:  what are the longer term health and economic impacts and do survivors believe we are ready for future storms?  In part, we can use survey responses to learn and shape solutions.  But additionally, there is so little information on the recovery overall.  Approximately 40,000 primary homeowners had sever or substantial damage from Sandy.  But only 8,000 of those families are in the RREM program.  What happened to the other 32,000?  How have they coped with mold, reconstruction, and elevation?

 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL REPORT

 

SURVIVING SANDY

Five months after we launched, New Jersey announced a temporary assistance program for people in RREM paying both rent and mortgage.  It was initially for nine additional months, but as the recovery continued to drag on past the third year, we led a coalition of advocacy groups, service organizations and elected officials for an extension of the program.  Struggling families will receive an additional twelve months of assistance, and people can apply even if they don’t have a mortgage, which has been helpful for seniors on fixed incomes.  The rental assistance program put over fifteen million dollars back in the hands of Sandy survivors and aided them in holding on so they could afford to get home and the state will extend it again for 21 additional months.

 

Then, in August of 2015, Governor Christie signed the Sweeney-Greenstein Transparency Bill on Sandy Aid we’d advocated for and helped shape.  The bill will increase the efficiency, transparency and accountability in the disbursement of aid to Sandy survivors.  The law will help ensure that the storm’s victims are kept informed as they work to get home.  It also created goals and tracking requirements so that the public can see how many projects are finished.  As of March 2017 only 4,916 of the approximately 8,000 families who remain in RREM have completed their construction and elevation projects.

 

In February, Governor Christie signed legislation we worked to pass for two years that protects Sandy impacted families from foreclosure.  It allows families that are not home, or not home for a full year to apply for forbearance whether they are or are not in foreclosure.  As climate disasters and extreme weather continue to grow in frequency and intensity, we hope this legislation can serve as a model for other states.

 

Contact Info

128 Bartlett Avenue

West Creek, NJ 08092

 

609-312-3899

THE LONG ROAD HOME

UNDERSTANDING SANDY RECOVERY AND LESSONS FOR FUTURE STORMS FIVE YEARS LATER

 

In partnership with Rutgers researchers and Stockton University’s service learning program, we have undertaken the first community-based participatory research project on Sandy recovery. Community Captains, volunteers who survived Sandy themselves and student partners, conducted interviews in neighborhoods and circulated an online version. We wanted to see where the recovery process was four plus years later and look at key questions:  what are the longer term health and economic impacts and do survivors believe we are ready for future storms?  In part, we can use survey responses to learn and shape solutions.  But additionally, there is so little information on the recovery overall.  Approximately 40,000 primary homeowners had sever or substantial damage from Sandy.  But only 8,000 of those families are in the RREM program.  What happened to the other 32,000?  How have they coped with mold, reconstruction, and elevation?

 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL REPORT