Out of an estimated 4,000 and 5,000 Brick homeowners who must raise their houses to avoid monstrous flood insurance premiums, how many have filed paperwork with the township to do so?
The staggeringly-low figure represents the number of house raising permits issued by the township so far this year, spokesman Keith Rella said. In mathematical terms, that's two-tenths of one percent of the estimated total.
"It's going to take a long time," said Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis, who is becoming more frustrated with the lack of funding available to help all coastal residents – not just those who qualify for means-tested grants – to raise their homes.
"People who didn't prepare, didn't save, they're the ones that are actually going to qualify for the Community Development Block Grant money," said Acropolis. "Anyone who has assets, who has money in the bank, they want you to use that money. They want you to take a loan instead of a grant."
The means testing of CDBG funding – 70 percent of it will be set aside for what the state considers low to moderate income households – could lock out many residents from help.
In the 2010 U.S. census, the median income of a Brick family was $81,868. According to the state Department of Community Affairs, a family of four must not make more than $73,113 to be considered "moderate income," however.
What's worse – for those who can actually qualify for it – is the fact that the disbursement of CDBG grants may now be delayed until August.
In the mean time, residents who can get back in their homes are doing so without raising them and just waiting for the clock to run out before flood insurance rates, which are required by essentially all mortgage companies, rise to as much as $30,000 a year for those who do not elevate.
"There are so many homes that are for sale, and many are the tiny ones where it might not be worth it to raise," said Acropolis. "I'm disappointed in the people who said, 'the money will be there, go ahead and rebuild.'"
"To this date, Senator Lautenberg and Senator Menendez (both D-NJ) have not delivered for Ocean County," the mayor said. "And I hate to think this, but maybe it's because it's a Republican county. I hate to think that way, but with what I've seen happen in Washington, who knows."