TRENTON — Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo and John Armato, D-Atlantic, recently introduced a package of four bills to help people still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.
The bills, which must pass the Assembly and Senate and be signed by the governor, make it easier for victims of contractor fraud to get reimbursed, address education about handling mold problems, and call for new reports on Sandy’s impact on tourism and the envrionment.
“It’s unfortunate what we had here with the storm, and that people are still out of their houses,” Mazzeo said. “We are laying down the blueprint so if something happens again we will know how to handle it.”
The bills are:
• A-4529: Creates a simpler way for Hurricane Sandy-impacted homeowners who were victims of contractor fraud to be reimbursed by the state for money lost.
Under current law, a contractor must have been charged with a crime involving fraud or theft by deception in order for a homeowner to be reimbursed.
This legislation would require DCA to distribute fraud-response funding, if the applicant is able to present documentation sufficient to demonstrate that the fraud or theft by deception has occurred. It only concerns contract work in the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation, and Mitigation Program or the Low-to-Moderate Income Homeowners Rebuilding Program.
• A-4530: Requires that if a property has suffered water leakage or accumulated dampness, the presence of mold or undergone repairs to address a dampness problem, the real estate broker, broker-salesperson or salesperson shall give the buyer a copy of the “Mold Guidelines for New Jersey Residents” produced by the New Jersey Department of Health.
• A-4531: Requires New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism to prepare a report on state travel and tourism industry recovery since Hurricane Sandy.
• A-4542: Requires DEP to study the state’s response to Sandy and preparedness for future storm events.