Trenton, NJ – The Christie Administration today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded nearly $29.5 million in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding for the voluntary acquisition of 129 homes in Sayreville. These homes are part of the Administration’s plan to acquire approximately 1,000 homes impacted by Superstorm Sandy and another 300 repetitively flood-damaged homes in the Passaic River Basin.
“The Christie Administration is committed to moving willing sellers in flood-prone areas out of harm’s way,” said Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin. “In the weeks and months after Sandy struck New Jersey, it became clear that some residents wanted the peace of mind buyouts offer. This process gives residents this option, and helps them start over again, free of the worry of flooding.”
The first offers to willing seller homeowners are expected to begin next week through the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Blue Acres Program, with the first closings completed within one year. The Christie Administration has targeted Sayreville and South River in Middlesex County and homes along Delaware Bay in Lawrence Township, Cumberland County, for the first phase of acquisitions under the $300 million buyout program. Acquisitions in Sayreville include 69 homes on Weber Avenue and 60 homes on MacArthur Avenue.
The state is targeting clusters of homes and entire neighborhoods for buyouts. These homes will be razed and the land will be maintained as open space that can handle future flood waters. The DEP has created a special team to work closely with sellers and process their applications as quickly as possible. Case managers are reaching out to individual homeowners personally and help guide them through the process.
This buyout program is a joint effort of the DEP, State Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and FEMA. DEP administers all Blue Acres purchases and OEM handles financing through FEMA.
The initial Blue Acres Program targeted purchase of lands in floodways in the Delaware, Passaic and Raritan rivers basins, but was later expanded to include all state waters. Eligible properties are those that have been storm damaged, that are prone to incurring storm damage, or that may buffer or protect other lands from such damage.
Homeowners interested in selling their homes through this process may contact the DEP’s Blue Acres Program at 609-984-0500.
For more information on the Blue Acres Program, visit: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/greenacres/blue_flood_ac.html.
For information on Sandy Recovery, visit: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/special/hurricane-sandy/.
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New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to Make First Offers to Willing Sellers Next Week