NJ Dispersed Just 25 Percent Of Sandy Aid

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -

New Jersey officials say they dispersed just 25 percent of the state’s first large allocation of federal Superstorm Sandy aid in the first 11 months.

That is a finding of a quarterly state report released last week on the dozens of programs funded through a $1.8 billion community development block grant awarded last year. Of that sum, $1.3 billion was committed by the end of March but just $416 million had been handed out.

Unlike other federal disaster relief, the state gets to decide how to use this fund. Under the biggest and most complicated housing program, the state said 2,000 of the 5,400 homeowners given preliminary awards had signed contracts to start receiving funds.

HUD is now reviewing New Jersey’s plans for a second block grant allocation, this one for $1.46 billion.