Christie: Don't Wait to Elevate, Rebuild; Grant Money on the Way

Governor: Don't listen to 'dopes' saying to hold off

Gov. Chris Christie took a stand this week against public officials and community leaders calling on residents to wait for potential changes to Federal Emergency Management Agency flood maps before elevating or rebuilding their homes in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Christie, speaking in Lavallette Tuesday, said the state's adoption of FEMA's advisory base flood elevation maps last month will ensure residents build smarter and stronger, and avoid the consequences that came in Sandy's storm surge.

"Fight away, I'm fighting too, but don't tell people not to rebuild their homes if they want to," said Christie.

"Don't we want people in safer homes and more resilient homes?"

Some have called on residents to wait for FEMA to put out revised, preliminary maps this summer before they raise their homes, since those maps may rezone certain neighborhoods and scale back the type of construction or height needed to comply in order to receive affordable flood insurance rates.

But Christie said waiting could cost residents the chance to score grants that could help pay for house raising, at least for primary residents.

The governor said Tuesday that a grant program funded by the federal government could be in place at the state level as early as late March.

"We want people to make a commitment to stay in these communities," he said, and residents deserve a "helping hand."

The grants will come in the form of Community Development Block Grants.

One of the largest ever single allocations of CDBG funds – $17 billion – was included in the federal Sandy relief package passed by congress and signed by President Barack Obama.

Christie said the CDBG funding will be for primary residents only.

Brick Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis said in his meetings with officials, future rounds of funding, such as FEMA hazard mitigation grants, could be available for secondary homeowners.

Donna February 22, 2013 at 12:52 AM
I wouldn't do anything until this is straightened out. You have 4 years to raise your house and still get the $30,000 ICC money. Why do it now, in a rush. I am going to fix it up, go home, and wait and see how everyone else is lifting theirs and which ones look nice and which ones don't. And I'm going to wait until the levels are in stone. I have a friend that lifted theirs and they are one foot short now, since the new levels came out. Screwed! I still haven't received any flood insurance money yet, can you imagine how long the ICC funds will take? And meanwhile, where do you live and how do you pay for it? FEMA will not pay for your rental forever, they denied me after the first two months. Move home and wait, the Governor is wrong!
Donna February 22, 2013 at 12:57 AM
The shore is still the place to live, paradise! No matter where you live, there are problems. Earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, but there is no place more beautiful than the shore. I have lived on a barrier island for 55 years, and this is the first time we have ever had a problem. I don't think that's bad odds at all. My island has been good to me and I won't leave at the first little problem that comes down the road. We will deal with this, and at the end, still be in paradise.
TerriLynn February 22, 2013 at 02:24 AM
It has been said that most likely areas closest to the water, on the beaches, will not be rebuilt.
foggyworld February 22, 2013 at 03:51 AM
Who is this man kidding? I live in a hurricane prevention built house on the western side of Barnegat Bay. It is on 10' pilings just for starters and now Fema wants it to move up to 13'. Governor, taxpayers pay for those grants and I wouldn't dream of asking them to raise this house that I lived in through the storm and saw stay bone dry just to go along to get along. You abdicated your responsibility to Fema which has no current data about my home and I am not about to pay $2500 in monthly flood insurance when I see my neighbors get zilch out of it for what they suffered. Governor you are running for another office and to clear you desk you just dumped all of the people on your beloved shore and no one but no one trusts a word you say. Those pollsters sure didn't call anyone involved in the Sandy mess that gets worse by the day. Thanks a whole bunch for pushing the middle class right out of NJ never mind the shores of 10' deep Barnegat Bay.
A Resident February 22, 2013 at 03:51 AM
TerriLynn, not sure where you are hearing about....but PPB, BayHead, and Mantoloking are all rebuilding....and they are fairly close to the beach front area.
foggyworld February 22, 2013 at 03:57 AM
I take it you haven't delved into the flood insurance aspects of your plan. Methinks you just may be a realtor or a builder.
foggyworld February 22, 2013 at 04:01 AM
Can't wait and this blast from the Governor says it's time to see a lawyer because obviously the Governor isn't spending time on the real issues here because he is so focused on campaign fund raising and preparation. We need real and serious help and it obviously isn't coming from Governor Christie who gave away his power to the D- agency of all time, Fema.
foggyworld February 22, 2013 at 04:02 AM
To do the job Fema hasn't done for 30 years will take even with better technology way too long. They shouldn't be allowed in the State at this point.
foggyworld February 22, 2013 at 04:06 AM
The prices being quoted for my neighbors are way, way above $30K so it takes your own money to make it happen but Fema says don't start until you have their theoretical cash in hand. Attention shoppers: this nation is bankrupt and there is not real money coming our way. Just more printed paper that brings on higher costs.
foggyworld February 22, 2013 at 04:09 AM
The Governor is focused on his own personal career and has made no effort to really dig in and find out what any of us are talking about here. My question is seeing as his summer mansion is properly in zone V, are we the taxpayers paying for what must be his incredible summer house flood insurance. And notice how we haven't seen any photos so we don't know if that house is in need of more tax dollars for repairs. Sure hope it's on 13' or more pilings!
foggyworld February 22, 2013 at 04:10 AM
What the Governor doesn't understand is the middle class taxpayers of this country are funding these unnecessary grants.
foggyworld February 22, 2013 at 04:15 AM
I don't really understand that. The summer people pay full and usually the highest taxes around and I'm sure their homeowner's and flood insurance aren't bargains. My summer neighbors in return for this get three months of once a week garbage pick up. The spend a good deal of money in our area and ask for next to nothing in return. So they should at least have the same shot at staying here because in fact they are the highest tax paying of us all. Not a kid in a school or a snow storm that needs care. If anything, these towns need more summer residents.
foggyworld February 22, 2013 at 04:18 AM
If he screws us, he screws himself because I don't know a single person that is talking about relocating anywhere within the State of New Jersey. This is one of the most expensive states to live in and after this Sandy experience, who in heaven's name would want to stay here. Now most of us are middle class but because 47% of the population isn't working, one would think the Governor and our local Mayors would be a bit concerned about the taxes we pay going soon to other States. If I am pushed out, it will really be far, far out.
foggyworld February 22, 2013 at 04:19 AM
Don't wake the Governor - he's napping through this whole thing.
foggyworld February 22, 2013 at 04:31 AM
It's almost impossible to get facts out of any of the players. I tried to buy the updated version of Fema's building codes and they haven't updated it yet so I passed on the obsolete version they are selling for something like $75.00 Thank you for your tables and let's just pray they are right because that in itself would be a first. As to the numbers on it, they say to me, Move On.
Eleanor February 22, 2013 at 10:48 AM
Dont wait for the money? Start paying to rebuild now and hope to be reimbursed? Sorry, Governor, like they said in that movie, 'Show me the MONEY!'
Jack Miller February 22, 2013 at 11:16 AM
No one should have to raise their home. This is nothing but a money grab that was stated many times before. Build the barrier islands and dunes properly, this breach would not have occurred to begin with.
Scott Wright February 22, 2013 at 11:24 AM
I'll ask again if anybody can help I do not see $25,000 rates in the link above The link might be wrong or I am not reading right just a regular house with 250000 of coverage and 100000 contents can anybody give rate for 2 ft above BFE Thanks
Karen M February 22, 2013 at 01:02 PM
@John Q check this website. http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/residential_coverage/policy_rates.jsp This link shows the rates. If you can't pull it up go to this link and scroll down to where it says "Rebuilding After Hurricane sandy Brochure" http://www.region2coastal.com/sandy/abfe/property_owners
OrtleyLarry February 22, 2013 at 01:09 PM
Hey Gov: find a way to get the dunes fixed in areas of private beaches! conflicting information so the gov says ignore it & pour money? Rebuild at same height now and elevate later and hope no storm hits between gaps in dunes? elevate now and hope you will get paid for completed work? 2nd homes only qualify for funds funds from HMG that first the county and city are spending furiously? Flood rate map grids no one can read? if you have $ to elevate now go do as the Gov says. it seems to make more sense to 1 wait for the dunes to be fixed at private beaches; 2: renovate existing structure and make the most of it hoping no major storm comes and wipes dunes away again; then 3: in another 2 years when the flood maps are finalized take out a big loan and rebuild 4 feet above BFE to get least expensive rates, then 4: sell the house because we can no longer afford the large mortgage and flood insurance rates and are too old to climb the tall stairs to get into the house so sell to some fat cat who can buy it for cash so they do not have to pay the flood insurance; then 5: drive down every couple of years to see how well all of the small businesses and the boardwalks are surviving now that only the very wealthy own the remaining houses. yeah its confusing as can be, this is the best sense I can make of it: Governor focus on getting the dunes fixed so that at least we can enjoy the last few years before only FEMA executives and high ranking politicians can afford to be here.
proud February 22, 2013 at 02:17 PM
@ Qrtley Larry, I understand completely what you are sayingand agree by and large. What I can't seem to fathom is why a secondary house at the at the same BFE of the primary residence next door pays a higher rate for flood insurance, but receives less preferential treatment in the so-called "rebuilding" process. And, that is just one of the flaws in the legislation that is using flood insurance increases to bail out the NFIP. Why don't we just call it what it is--a shakedown www.stopfema.now
grace February 22, 2013 at 03:08 PM
ok i will raise my home even tho only crawl space and garage damage..but i better get that grant you say i can get governor or there is no way i can afford to do it..please dont turn out like my apps to fema which were all turned down,,i was told to get loans at the bank uh i dont want a loan at age 62
Elaine February 22, 2013 at 03:43 PM
ask the guy you voted for Frankie and while your at it ask him about the NO BID Contract him and Happy doled out ask them if the republicon Super pac got 200 or 300
propertywatcher February 22, 2013 at 05:03 PM
I'm with Duffer (regarding raising my house) but I would add one more requirement to my list. Actually, I think it would be number 1. When OC raises City Hall, the Firehouses, Police Station and Public Schools and all other municipal/public property is raised. Until then, sit back and enjoy the summer breezes coming our way :-).
foggyworld February 22, 2013 at 10:14 PM
I have no idea what the grounds for impeachment are for the Governor but the more I see this article, the more I realize that his advice to just go ahead and build if taken seriously, would financially ruin possibly hundreds if not thousand of families. This remark of his is beyond irresponsible and I am concerned that in his rush to put a happy face on a very dismal situation that he contributed to heavily, that he has crossed a serious line. I can't imagine any serious financial planner saying what our lawyer Governor is. To put any money at risk without knowing exactly how high pilings have to be, what the specific insurance ramifications will be for those who suffered relatively little damage, and to know if his property tax cap is still going to be in place, is to be downright foolish. You can go ahead, he says, and neglects to mention the obscene insurance premiums and taxes people with heads for math would demand to know right up front. And this "Be Patient" stuff is wearing very thin. I don't even know if my neighborhood is going to be permitted to come back or will the rules and recurring new expenses make it a spot that only the One Percenters could even think of moving into. We need the truth from the Governor, our Mayors, Fema, & insurance companies so that we can take straight information to financial folks who will hopefully attempt to protect us from what seems to be a potential scam that the Governor is leading way too many people into.
resident February 22, 2013 at 10:36 PM
Thank you foggyworld for defending summer residents. So many people seem to have a grudge against those who own a second home in the area. We pay over $18,000 a year in taxes to Brick as residents of Mantoloking Shores, and our children do not attend school there. We contribute to the local economy in a big way during the summer months. We were able to purchase the second home, but we can't afford to raise our home or pay new exorbitant flood insurance rates either.
Jackie February 23, 2013 at 02:59 AM
Wow how am I suppose to believe anything the governor says. He publicly stated at the 100th township meeting in stafford that he was going to make an example of me what insurance companies cannot get away with treating people wrongly and not paying us. He even gave me his card to call which I did spoke to his staff they stated they told me they would call me back they never called. I called and called and called and they avoided speaking to me. Don't believe anything absolutely nothing. He doesn't give a dam about any of us. He stated he is losing sleep worrying about us lol. We are losing sleep not having our homes put together.
Karen M February 25, 2013 at 02:54 AM
Supposedly there are strings attached to that grant money. I would not want to have a deed restriction placed upon my property.
beach Haven West March 13, 2013 at 06:14 PM
I feel bad for the people that lost there main house at the shore. I have had a property in BHW for 22 years and I am so tired of hearing that all the benefits go to the primary residence. I pay just at much tax money as the person that lives next to me that is full time actually I pay more because I get no rebate and I pump my money into the local community and surrounding areas. I lost my house and my personal items just like the primary residence did. What form of relief does my family get.
beach Haven West March 13, 2013 at 06:16 PM
Thanks I thought I was the only person having a hard time with us people that own a shore home.


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