Families displaced by Hurricane Sandy begin moving into apartments at Fort Monmouth
Forty families displaced by Hurricane Sandy are moving into renovated apartments at Fort Monmouth, just days before Christmas.
State Community Affairs spokeswoman Lisa Ryan said the families started moving into the temporary housing at the former military post Friday and would continue through the weekend. More than 100 housing units are planned.
The first Federal Emergency Management Agency-owned trailers also have been placed in trailer parks around the state, and residents could move in within days.
Fort Monmouth apartments and FEMA trailers are part of New Jersey’s post-storm housing effort after Hurricane Sandy battered the East Coast on Oct. 29. Ryan said 50,531 households have qualified for FEMA’s program to temporarily shelter residents from one to 18 months.
As of Thursday, 2,664 households were still living in government-funded hotel and motel rooms; an additional 2,424 were in hotels but have moved out. Those who continue to qualify can stay through Jan. 11.
So far, the federal agency has approved spending nearly $280 million in New Jersey for housing programs. Most of the qualified applicants will get subsidies they can use to rent homes or recreational vehicles they can park on their property.
New Jersey also has a pilot program to make quick repairs to damaged homes so they can be lived in while other repairs are undertaken.
Ryan said the Fort Monmouth program was scaled back a bit from earlier plans. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is now planning 115 housing units in buildings there, down from an earlier plan of 175.
She said some buildings were found to be in flood zones and others were going to be expensive to repair because they have lead paint, asbestos or other complications. She said duplexes and apartments should be available next month.
FEMA also brought 50 mobile homes to the state with plans to set them up in existing mobile home communities. Ryan said that as of Friday, 11 were put on pads but were still being hooked up.