DCA Now Accepting Public Comment on Amendment to Hurricane Ida Action Plan

  • Posted on: 02/28/2024

Amendment Would Increase the Maximum Assistance that Ida-Impacted Homeowners Who Are Participating in the Blue Acres Program Can Receive

TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) today posted for public comment an amendment to the Hurricane Ida Action Plan that would increase the maximum assistance homeowners can receive from the Hurricane Ida Blue Acres Program. Through the program, homeowners whose homes were damaged by Ida or are vulnerable to flooding have the option to voluntarily sell their property to the State of New Jersey for conversion to use as natural flood storage, parks, and community open space.

The Action Plan amendment would raise the maximum program award to $706,748. The maximum award includes both the purchase of the home at current fair market value and incentive funds to help the homeowner acquire replacement housing in an area at lower risk of flooding. 

The public can submit comment on the Ida Action Plan amendment through March 28, 2024. The same amendment is also being proposed for the Superstorm Sandy Action Plan since some Sandy disaster recovery funds are being used for the Hurricane Ida Blue Acres Program. DCA will review and consider all feedback received during the public comment period before submitting the amendment to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for approval.

Over the last year of implementation of the Blue Acres Program for homeowners affected by Hurricane Ida, it became clear the current maximum award of $461,375 that was established in 2022 in the Action Plan is too low based on current housing market rates. Although the proposed new maximum award of $706,748 is a significant increase, it is necessary to allow property buyout work to occur in the northern New Jersey counties impacted by Ida flooding where property prices are higher than average.

The Hurricane Ida Blue Acres Program will continue to prioritize low- to moderate-income (LMI) households regardless of the adjustment to the maximum award. Additionally, determining the award amount is not arbitrary and will reflect the actual market rate of housing in the area and be variable depending on the real estate appraisal of the property, the housing incentive, and the county. 

Hurricane Ida Action Plan Amendment #8 and the related Superstorm Sandy Action Plan Amendment #56 are available in English and Spanish at https://www.nj.gov/dca/ddrm/ and can be requested by email at DRMConstituentServices@dca.nj.gov or by contacting DCA’s Division of Disaster Recovery and Mitigation Constituent Services at (609) 913-4824. To obtain a copy in a language other than English or Spanish, people can contact Sylvia Johnston, the language access plan (LAP) coordinator, at Sylvia.Johnston@dca.nj.gov. For hearing-impaired users, text telephone service is available at (TTY/TDD) 1-800-852-7899.

People can submit public comments to the proposed amendment via email or regular mail. More information is available at https://www.nj.gov/dca/ddrm/ on the DCA website.

DCA’s Division of Disaster Recovery and Mitigation promotes the long-term resilience of New Jersey’s communities by supporting initiatives to fortify housing, businesses, and infrastructure against severe weather events and flooding damage. The Division administers federal funds the State of New Jersey received to assist in recovery from Hurricane Ida and Superstorm Sandy. These funds come from the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and have been used to create Ida and Sandy recovery programs.

In addition to disaster recovery and mitigation, DCA offers a wide range of programs and services, including local government management and finance, affordable housing production, fire safety, building safety, community planning and development, historic preservation, and information privacy.

For more information about DCA, visit https://nj.gov/dca/ or follow the Department on social media: 

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Tammori Petty,
Lisa Ryan,
Judith Drucker

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