Homeowners Previously Couldn't Receive Funds After Making Repairs

MIDDLETOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A lot more homeowners who repaired damage related to Superstorm Sandy are now in line for federal reimbursement.

As WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) on Friday praised the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for changing the rules for Community Development Block Grant funding. The new rules allow New Jersey residents who have begun rebuilding their homes to apply for block grant funding.

“Now, with new guidance from HUD, that homeowner can apply for federal assistance to help cover the cost of repairs,” Menendez said.

Previously, homeowners had to wait for months to get their applications approved before even starting the rebuilding process.

Michael Finnegan’s family in the Port Monmouth section of Middletown, N.J., was hit hard by the storm.

“My wife and I were immediately motivated to chart a course to repair and get back home by any means available to us,” he said.

Like so many others, Finnegan’s family got to work after the storm, repairing damaged structures before federal dollars trickled in. Finnegan said he spent $100,000 elevating his home.

“Up until now, it was pretty clear that there was little hope for us to be reimbursed for these costs,” he said.

Menendez also said more rounds of Sandy relief are on the way.

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