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Federal regulations thwart reimbursements for N.J. Sandy victims’ latest repair costs

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Federal regulations thwart reimbursements for N.J. Sandy victims’ latest repair costs
WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 19, 2014, 9:41 PM
BY  KAREN SUDOL
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD

Superstorm Sandy victims still can’t seek reimbursement for home repairs done after the date they applied for a specific government grant, according to federal housing officials who have denied a state request to waive the requirement.

Recognizing that many homeowners have had to halt repairs mid-project when they have applied for funds, the state Department of Community Affairs asked the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to consider changing the policy in December.

It was the latest of several such requests, said Lisa Ryan, a Community Affairs spokeswoman.

Richard Constable, commissioner of the department, said that, nevertheless, “we will continue to aggressively advocate to HUD on behalf of storm-affected residents so that they receive the federal assistance they need to get their homes and lives back together.”

In a Feb. 10 letter, HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary Yolanda Chavez cited federal environmental rules as reasons for the decision as well as concern that repair work performed after the grant application date and without an environmental review could destroy historic properties.

A HUD official, who did not wish to be identified, said “we are prohibited by law to do what the state has asked.”

– See more at: https://www.northjersey.com/news/Federal_regulations_thwart_reimbursements_for_NJ_Sandy_victims_latest_repair_costs.html#sthash.MBUYI05j.dpuf