Shore homeowners who want to make sure they have the first shot at getting federal dollars to rebuild Sandy-damaged houses have until Sunday evening to apply for priority consideration.

The two grants — one of up to $150,000 to repair or elevate houses and the other of $10,000 for non-construction costs — account for $780 million of New Jersey’s $1.8 billion Community Development Block Grant money released to the state in April.

As of Thursday, the Department of Community Affairs received about 11,400 applications for the resettlement grant and more than 9,700 applications for the rebuilding grants, spokeswoman Lisa Ryan said.  Up to 10,000 resettlement grants and 6,000 rebuilding grants will be awarded.

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To apply for either grant, call 1-855-726-3946 or go to:                        

Rebuilding grants pay for construction costs related to repairs and elevating houses to meet new flood standards. The $10,000 “resettlement” grant cannot pay for construction costs, but is instead meant to be an incentive for residents to remain in their neighborhoods. The grant can be used to pay for future flood insurance premiums.

Homeowners can apply after June 30, but their applications will not be processed until those applicants in the first group with the most need have been processed.

The Christie administration also has announced several other federally funded programs aimed at either reducing blight or increasing affordable housing in storm-damaged areas. Among the newly announced programs:

n Landlord Incentive Program: This $40 million program will pay participating landlords a stipend to cover the gap between what a tenant can afford and the fair market rent for a unit. The idea of this program, DCA Commissioner Richard Constable said in a news release, is to increase the amount of housing available for low- to moderate-income renters. At least 1,000 families will benefit. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis.

Neighborhood Enhancement Program: This $30 million program provides zero interest loans for non-profit and for-profit developers to create new affordable housing units by rehabilitating blighted properties. The program provides up to $250,000 per unit for construction, fees or other costs related to design or permits.

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