SEA GIRT, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – New Jersey is getting the largest portion of the first major federal grant for recovery from Superstorm Sandy at will start with $1.8 billion.
Gov. Chris Christie‘s plan for that first batch of aid is a little extra help for homeowners and small businesses.
That would include grants to help homeowners to cover at least some of the gap between their insurance coverage and the actual cost of repairs.
“Notice I’m saying grants not loans. We know that a lot of our homeowners already have debt. They’re getting insurance moneys back but they may not be covering the entire cost of reconstructing their homes and so we’re gonna have them be eligible through the Department of Community Affairs, if this approved by HUD and we have to submit our plan to HUD, which we will do shortly,” Christie said in Sea Girt on Wednesday.
There will be grants for small businesses to make repairs and restock inventory.
The governor also wants an aggressive ad campaign to let people know the Jersey Shore is back in business.
In the next round of money, Christie hopes to fund buyouts for chronic flood zones like parts of Sayreville.
Christie has said the state sustained $37 billion in damage.
Meanwhile, a job fair was held Wednesday at the Wyndham Garden Hotel at Newark Liberty International Airport, with preference for unemployed victims of Sandy.
The line outside the conference room there stretched around the corner and then to the end of the long hallway.
“No, I’m not surprised. Look, the people know that New Jersey has been struggling a bit,” said state labor commissioner Harold Wirths.
He said they expected a large turnout to fill new ground handling and cargo jobs at the airport.
“They’re going to recruit over a thousand people,” he told WCBS 880 reporter Levon Putney.
Putney spoke with applicants as young as 19 and as old as 59.
“Whatever I can get, that’s what I want,” said the 59-year-old.
“I can definitely use the job, you know. I just had a son,” said the 19-year-old.
Some of the job seekers have been out of work for years.
But when Raymond Sambalin of Brick Township heard preference would be given to hurricane victims, he said, “I’m up there.”
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