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Report: Hard-Hit N.J. Communities Saw Little Of Superstorm Sandy Money

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Homes damaged in Ortley Beach, N.J., during superstorm Sandy (credit: Getty Images)

Homes damaged in Ortley Beach, N.J., during superstorm Sandy (credit: Getty Images)

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Superstorm Sandy

TRENTON, N.J., (CBSNewYork) — Millions of dollars in federal superstorm Sandy aid meant to rebuild New Jersey homes went to projects far away from the counties hardest hit by the storm.

As WCBS 880′s Monica Miller reported, the Garden State received almost $160 million from Washington to build muti-family apartment complexes, public housing projects and special-needs housing in nine counties destroyed by superstorm Sandy.

But according to a report in The Star-Ledger of Newark, about one-third of the money went to Essex and Middlesex counties. Hard-hit communities in Ocean County saw less than 8 percent of the funding.

At least two projects in particular have recently raised eyebrows.

Money was given to two communities after Gov. Chris Christie was given political endorsements in areas barely touched by the storm — Belleville and New Brunswick. The New Brunswick project — in which $4.8 million was awarded to help build a high-rise — is backed by former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, a Christie supporter.

The report comes after Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer alleged that Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno threatened to withhold Sandy funds unless the mayor approved a development project. Guadagno has denied the allegation.

State officials said they followed federal guidelines to put new housing in place as quickly as possible.

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