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Sandy Bill Of Rights

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Toms River, NJ (My9NJ) - Superstorm Sandy happened over a year ago and so many people are still in the recovery process trying desperately to get their homes and lives back in order.

It’s been reported that 80% of people who had their homes ruined in Sandy were wrongfully denied a piece of $600 million in assistance from New Jersey’s Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation program, or RREM.

There were some residents who did get into the program however, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are getting the help they were promised.

Toms River resident Jennifer Altman said that she was actually one of the lucky ones who got into the program in September, five-months after she applied. Unfortunately, she still hasn’t seen a dime in relief money and her house is still destroyed. She and her daughter are currently living in temporary housing, and meanwhile, she’s keeping up a $2,000 a month mortgage payment on a house she can’t live in.

Altman says that the worst part of this whole situation is that she’s been ignored by her housing recovery counselors and has been transferred to a new one twice already and forced to deal with 3 different people.

“If they have this money, why aren’t they giving it out? How long are they gonna sit on this money and make us pay for houses we can’t live in? If they have the money start handing it out so we can get back in our houses, our neighborhood can come back, businesses are going out of business because people don’t live here anymore, there’s vandalism. Don’t they want people back in their houses?” She said.

Sadly, this sounds like the norm for so many New Jersey residents, but there is new hope.

Senate President Sweeney has launched a Sandy Bill Of Rights tour where he plans to travel to several different areas that were greatly impacted by Superstorm Sandy. He made the announcement about this tour yesterday at a press conference in Perth Amboy and he was joined by people like Congressman Frank Pallone and Assemblyman John Wisniewski.

Much of the focus of the press conference was attacking Governor Christie and how his administration has dealt with Sandy relief and recovery thus far.

They made it a point to say that they cannot blame the Federal Government for any of the problems that many are still facing today and that it really falls on the face of Governor Christie and his staff.

“As the governor you’re responsible for what happens here. He’s responsible for this program and it is a failure. I blame his administration and I’ve said this, this is a colossal failure” Sweeney said.

Sweeney himself made promises to the people of New Jersey and said that this new Sandy Bill Of Rights will not cost voters any money, and this program is really about information and giving people the knowledge they need to rebuild their lives.


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