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Christie expected to announce start of federal and state aid for Hurricane Sandy rebuilding today

Federal and state leaders are expected to announce the start of the state’s plan to spend a $1.8 billion in federal aid for people rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy today.

The money should start flowing into New Jersey this week.

Gov. Chris Christie has a press conference scheduled for later this morning in Highlands, where the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan is also scheduled to appear.

HUD announced Friday that it had approved New York’s plan to spend $1.7 billion for the same program in that state.

Christie’s first appearance of the day was on the Morning Joe show on MSNBC, where he discussed the federal aid program.

"We'll start to see that aid start flowing this week," Christie said on the show. "We still have tens of thousands of families who aren't back in their homes. Job One is to get the grant program going."

The plan submitted in March calls for using $600 million in grants of up to $150,000 to homeowners who need to raise their houses along with grant program of up to $10,000 for homeowners to resettle neighborhoods where residents have not returned after the storm.

The announcement comes on the six-month anniversary of Sandy making landfall near Brigantine as a northeaster with hurricane force winds.

Nearly 360,000 New Jersey housing units were damaged or destroyed in the storm, with the worst damage occurring in Ocean and Monmouth counties. Some northern Ocean County towns, such as Mantoloking and the Camp Osborne section of Brick Township, still remain much as they were after the storm, with houses in ruins.

While damage was not as catastrophic in South Jersey, flooding in towns such as Margate, Ventnor, Atlantic City and Brigantine damaged up to a third of the housing stock in some towns. Among the most affected residents in Atlantic City were low-income renters, many of whom have struggled to rebuild their lives after the storm.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

 

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