On May 30, HUD announced a settlement in a fair housing complaint filed against the State of New Jersey by the Latino Action Network, the New Jersey NAACP, and the Fair Share Housing Center. The complaint alleged that the state’s use of Super Storm Sandy federal disaster recovery funds entailed discriminatory housing practices.
The agreement applies to approximately $800 million remaining from the first allotment of Sandy Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds, and to the more than $2 billion in the second and anticipated third allotments. Among a long list of provisions, the State of New Jersey agreed to:
- Provide $215 million of CDBG-DR in addition to the $379 million previously allocated to replace and develop multifamily housing in the nine counties most impacted by Sandy, giving priority to three counties with the most damage. At least 60% of the units must serve families with children.
- Establish a $15 million pool to help renters displaced by Sandy while they wait for replacement homes to be built.
- Reconsider rejected applications for a program that provides up to $150,000 to homeowners to restore Sandy-damaged homes. Nearly 80% of the rejected applications were incorrectly rejected.
- Provide a comprehensive approach to serving people with Limited English Proficiency who would benefit from the state’s HUD-funded recovery activities, including providing interpreters at housing recovery centers, language phone lines, and translation of key documents.
- Provide enhanced outreach to lower income communities that have been underserved.
- Provide an additional $10 million to help people with special needs impacted by Sandy.
- Provide $10 million to help people in manufactured homes rebuild or replace their homes.