Pascrell Releases Statement on State Disaster Recovery Plan
By Mel Fabrikant Monday, February 03, 2014, 07:12 PM EST
Renews call for independent monitor of federal Sandy recovery funds
WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) today released the following statement regarding a proposed amendment to the New Jersey Disaster Recovery Action Plan detailing how the state will spend $1.46 billion in federal Sandy recovery funds:
"This next round of CDBG funding will help bring Sandy victims one step closer to making their lives whole. However, New Jersey’s stewardship of these funds to date has raised many questions, and taxpayers deserve assurances that the state is managing them in a responsible manner. Reports of Sandy funds being withheld for political retribution and the secretive cancelling of a large contract are deeply disturbing. I fought too long and hard with my colleagues in Congress to see these federal recovery funds be mismanaged while families are still not back in their homes. This is why I am urging HUD to mandate the appointment of an independent monitor by Secretary Donovan to bring oversight and transparency to the usage of CDBG-DR funds in New Jersey as a condition for this application to be approved.
"In addition, this plan does not provide nearly enough resources to folks in need of RREM funds, leaving more than 3,000 homeowners waitlisted and in desperate need of rebuilding assistance. Furthermore, I am urging Governor Christie to reopen the RREM grant program so homeowners that missed the deadline through no fault of their own in towns like Little Ferry get access to the help they are entitled to. I'll continue to fight to ensure that these federal funds are spent in a transparent manner in order for New Jersey families impacted by Sandy to get the help that they need."