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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16, 2014

Contact:  Lawrence Ragonese (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Bob Considine (609) 984-1795
Joe Seldner (609) 984-1795

CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES SUPERSTORM SANDY BLUE ACRES ACQUISITION MEETING IN POMPTON LAKES
10th NEW JERSEY TOWN TO PARTICIPATE IN BUYOUT PROGRAM

(14/P115) TRENTON – The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will hold a kickoff meeting on Thursday, October 23 for 19 homeowners in Pompton Lakes who have been approved for the state’s Blue Acres acquisition program, Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.

The informational meeting, open only to invited homeowners, will provide details about the buyout program and will match homeowners with case managers who will work with them throughout the process.

The Superstorm Sandy Blue Acres Program, launched in May 2013, purchases homes from willing sellers at pre-Sandy market values and allows participants the opportunity to rebuild their lives after the devastation of Sandy and other storms. The homes identified for purchase in Pompton Lakes include some which were flooded by Hurricane Irene and other storms prior to Sandy.

Pompton Lakes will be the tenth community in the state to participate in the program. Other municipalities that will benefit from the Christie Administration’s federally funded buyout effort include Manville, Sayreville, South River, Woodbridge, East Brunswick, Lawrence, Newark, Old Bridge and Linden

“The Governor and I are pleased to bring the successful Blue Acres program to yet another community, one that has had to deal with flooding issues for many years,” Commissioner Martin said. “Through this program, we are giving residents a chance to move away from the constant threat of flooding in their lives and start anew. At the same time, we are helping to make communities more resilient against future storms by preserving land to absorb flood waters.”

The goal of the Superstorm Sandy Blue Acres Program is to purchase 1,300 homes in flood-damaged and flood-threatened areas, to remove residents from harm’s way and to create natural buffers to protect against future storm events.

So far, 321 homeowners have accepted buyouts. DEP has closed on purchases of 181 homes, and 78 homes have been demolished.

Pompton Lakes Blue Acres home buyouts will be funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, administered by the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management and the DEP Blue Acres Program.

In addition to FEMA, post-Sandy Blue Acres buyouts are funded through U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funds, with additional funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service and the state Green Acres Program. 

The DEP has created a special team for its Blue Acres Buyout Program to work closely with sellers and process their applications as quickly as possible. The team reaches out to individual homeowners personally and guides them through the acquisition process.

Homeowners interested in selling their homes or who have questions about the buyout program may contact the DEP’s Blue Acres Program at (609) 984-0500.

For more information on the Blue Acres Program, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/greenacres/blue_flood_ac.html

For information on Sandy Recovery, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/special/hurricane-sandy/

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Last Updated: October 17, 2014