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Giving New Jerseyans Choice In Recovery
Christie Administration “Willing Seller” Plan Provides Homeowners Options and Flexibility to Sell Sandy-Damaged Homes In Flood-Prone Areas
The Christie Administration has put forward a plan to spend $300 million in federal funds that will give homeowners the option to sell Sandy-damaged homes. This program is designed to give homeowners the ability to choose the best option for their individual situation.
The buyout program is a joint effort of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), State Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). DEP administers all Blue Acres purchases and OEM handles the financing through FEMA.
Focusing On Homes Impacted By Flooding
The plan is targeting clusters of homes or entire neighborhoods that were ravaged by Super Storm Sandy in tidal areas of New Jersey.
- The program is targeting nearly 1,000 damaged homes in tidal areas, beginning with about 350 homes in Sayreville and South River in Middlesex County that were impacted by flooding from the Raritan and South rivers, and Delaware Bay homes in Lawrence Township in Cumberland County;
- Additionally, the plan will include another 300 repetitively flood-damaged homes located in the Passaic River Basin;
- These homes will eventually be razed and the areas maintained as open space that can handle future flood waters, while keeping people and property out of harm’s way.
A Swift Timeline To Help Homeowners Recover
Property appraisals and title work will begin in June.
- The offers to willing seller homeowners will begin in July of 2013 through New Jersey’s existing Blue Acres Program.
- The first closings on homes are expected to take place by Labor Day, with all closings done within one year.
Committing The Necessary Resources For The Buyout Program
A specially created buyout team at the DEP is working to process sellers’ applications and get the paperwork portion of this effort done quickly.
The DEP has transferred personnel temporarily to handle the expected influx of willing sellers and to process the applications efficiently and help families get through the process as painlessly as possible.
What Interested Homeowners Need To Know
- Case managers will to reach out personally to individual homeowners by the end of May to help guide them through the buyout process.
- Homeowners interested in selling their homes through this process also may contact the DEP’s Blue Acres Program at 609-984-0500.