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With Funding Scarce, Few in Brick Apply to Raise Houses

Mayor: means testing could lock many Brick residents out of assistance; those who saved, prepared could be penalized

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?

Ten.

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."

Tim April 23, 2013 at 02:52 PM
Thank you
Cherry Quay resident April 23, 2013 at 03:01 PM
J, yes, Steve did say exactly what you have stated. Therefore, DO NOT raise at this time. The FEMA maps are WRONG!!! The barrier island must be REPAIRED!!! Both factors will determine IF any homes need to be raised. My house did get 8" of water, BUT IT NEVER FLOODED BEFORE IN 56 years!!!
Cherry Quay resident April 23, 2013 at 04:02 PM
One other point; many have stated the fact that if the barrier island didn't fail (breech) we would have NEVER flooded. Steve Acropolis did state this at a STOP FEMA NOW meeting held in Brick's municipal building a few Sunday's ago. In addition, other credible professionals have confirmed this to be true. So, doesn't it make financial sense to spend money to build a strong barrier island than to spend 100 times that money to raise more than 20,000 homes on the mainland???
A Resident April 23, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Gotcha. By the way....at the multiple FEMA events that I have attended...they have all stated over and over that a dune system will not change the ABFE simply because dune systems can (and have) fail.
A Resident April 23, 2013 at 04:38 PM
First you say the govt is lying and can't be trusted.....then you are taking the govt's word that the breach is what caused the flooding? So, are they lying, can't be trusted, or are correct? or is it only when things are in your favor?
Paul Michaelis April 23, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Both Menendez and Laughtenberg are political animals, they are totally lockstep with the party and care only for votes. The current regime practices Quid Pro Quo and to expect differently just because this is New Jersey is drinking the KoolAid. Remember, they are politicians first, last and always........they have demonstrated this often, so remember to vote for them or their replacements next election.
Cherry Quay resident April 23, 2013 at 05:01 PM
The federal government is lying. The other credible people are private sector engineers; they are standing behind the fact that the breech in the island caused the mainland flooding.
Jim April 23, 2013 at 05:12 PM
you are right !!! Lets support all those who hate us so much like the syrians. Forget the good old US Tax payer/ US Citizen
RP April 23, 2013 at 05:17 PM
Agree David. However if you have a Mortgage, the mortgage company will force you to carry flood insurance.
proud April 23, 2013 at 05:33 PM
Then you must have attended different FEMA meetings than I. perhaps, you misconstrued the information. We all know FEMA would never provide conflicting or ambiguous information.
Chief Wahoo April 23, 2013 at 06:18 PM
Now they are getting ready to smack you with an Internet Tax....... Because its only FAIR Good to see some of the sheep are getting mad .......FINALLY !!!!!!!
SAVEOURCOMMUNITY April 23, 2013 at 06:24 PM
From Save Our Communities 2013 "Just got off conference call organized by Senator Menendez Staff. On the call was FEMA Congressional Laison, FEMA Engineeering representatives, Elissa Commins Brick Engineer, Jason Tudor representing Senator Menendez and myself. To summarize, both Elissa & Jason did great representing Brick residence interests in order to get the information needed for early appeal. FEMA will be delivering to Elissa all the material they have relative so that Brick's engineers can start developing the technical challenge. Shame on the other Town Councils who did not do what Brick Council did by authorizing on behalf of their residents getting to the early challenges. I urge those on this email list not from Brick to copy & paste this email and send it to your respective Council people and tell them it is not too late to get on board with the early challenges that Senator Menendez has opened the door to produce. We are working on some other positive developments to help us along on our rebuilding efforts and our future. Hopefully these other initiatives will come to fruition shortly for the benefit of all. Once again, thank you to Elissa and Jason for your excellent and right on point in delivering our message and getting us on track for a Brick technical early appeal. Take care, Ron Jampel" on behalf of Save Our Communities 2013
Chief Wahoo April 23, 2013 at 06:40 PM
How did Menendez vote on Biggert/Waters ????? That's what I thought. Please do not come here and praise that commie.
Daniel Nee (Editor) April 23, 2013 at 06:53 PM
Here's the direct link: http://fema.maps.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=2f0a884bfb434d76af8c15c26541a545
SAVEOURCOMMUNITY April 23, 2013 at 07:01 PM
Voted just like most if not all including Republicans and Democrats. People need to also look at what was happening at the time. There was a movement afoot to try to eliminate flood insurance all together. Real estate sales were put on hold. Folks need to read the legislative history before rushing to judgement. First hand knowledge is a wonderful thing and I can say with 1st hand knowledge Senator Menendez has been more than helpful. Space does not let me get into what the Governor's CDBG plan did negatively to homeowners and the strange echoing silence from local officials that did not object to the plan which diverted 2/3 of the funds away from homeowners and 48% can be diverted to folks and towns that saw No Sandy damage. This is funny..me trying to have an informed conversation with the Chief but those that know me know I will speak to anyone especially to answer a question. Don't loose your edge Chief because I can honestly say it is needed, you're on point most of the time and I support it...power to the people Chief...Ron
bernie April 23, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Thanks to Ron and Save Our Communities 2013 the following occurred today: Just got off conference call organized by Senator Menendez Staff. On the call was FEMA Congressional Laison, FEMA Engineeering representatives, Elissa Commins Brick Engineer, Jason Tudor representing Senator Menendez and myself. To summarize, both Elissa & Jason did great representing Brick residence interests in order to get the information needed for early appeal. FEMA will be delivering to Elissa all the material they have relative so that Brick's engineers can start developing the technical challenge. Shame on the other Town Councils who did not do what Brick Council did by authorizing on behalf of their residents getting to the early challenges. I urge those on this email list not from Brick to copy & paste this email and send it to your respective Council people and tell them it is not too late to get on board with the early challenges that Senator Menendez has opened the door to produce. We are working on some other positive developments to help us along on our rebuilding efforts and our future. Hopefully these other initiatives will come to fruition shortly for the benefit of all. Once again, thank you to Elissa and Jason for your excellent and right on point in delivering our message and getting us on track for a Brick technical early appeal. Take care, Ron https://www.facebook.com/SaveOurNJCommunities?fref=ts
bernie April 23, 2013 at 07:08 PM
As part of the community’s ongoing recovery, the Township of Brick is working to understand damages experienced from Superstorm Sandy. This includes exploring ways to strengthen and protect infrastructure as well as individual properties against future natural hazard impacts, such as wind, flood, and wildfire. The Township has contracted with engineering firms to address property damage. “Over the next several weeks these professionals will be assessing neighborhoods impacted by Superstorm Sandy by going house to house,” said Mayor Acropolis. “Residents know and understand best what impact sandy and other natural events have had on their home, street and neighborhood. Participation and cooperation is vital to our success in fortifying our community.” Working toward reducing vulnerability to future events, credentialed staff will be visiting with residents to discuss natural hazard-related impact issues, document damages, and gather information on other potential hazards. Residents are not required to allow access to the inside of their homes, however, it would be useful. Residents will also be provided contact information for the personnel dedicated to their section of the township. Instructions will be left for residents who are not home at the time of the outreach.
bernie April 23, 2013 at 07:08 PM
part 2 : “These professionals will be able to clearly identify themselves as working on behalf of the township,” according to Mayor Acropolis. “In order to best protect private property and township infrastructure, residents should share knowledge and feel free to ask questions.” Objectives of this effort are to: Assess damage; Gather input from the public regarding risk to natural hazards; Gather input from the public to begin identifying potential mitigation measures. These objectives cannot be accomplished without input from property owners. Some example questions they will ask include: How deep was flooding here during Sandy? Do you remember how long cars could not pass? How often does this street flood? Does the road become impassable? What do you believe is the source / cause of the flooding? Are there any other hazards we should know about? For answers to questions about Brick Township’s Mitigation Assessment and Strategy, residents are encouraged to visit the Township’s Mitigation Webpage located at: www.bricktownship.net/sandy-recovery-information
bernie April 23, 2013 at 07:09 PM
that email is from Keith Rella at Brick Twp krella@twp.brick.nj.us
bernie April 23, 2013 at 07:11 PM
kudos Ron
bernie April 23, 2013 at 07:24 PM
http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/comm_planning/communitydevelopment/programs
Chief Wahoo April 23, 2013 at 07:47 PM
Voted just like most if not all including Republicans and Democrats.........SO, Why would any Senator with 180 miles of coastline vote YES ???? that is meaningless.....SO, it must said over and over and over THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EITHER GANG.....IT IS ALL A SHOW !! (and believe me , i know these corrupt locals in the Good Old Boy Party, have screwed the homeowners way way more than the Cuban) Anarcho-Capitalism........It is your only chance left folks !!!!
SAVEOURCOMMUNITY April 23, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Once again I could not agree with you more regarding your comment of local politicians (but add State politician)...and they are unshakably continuing with their actions and rhetoric on the backs of those affected by Sandy. Regarding your question on why did they vote that way in the 1st place, again you need to read the legislative history. Included in Capitalism is negotiation. Was something (Biggert-Waters) better than nothing? Rhetorical question of course. Anarchy in 2012 over flood insurance...I don't think even you being a Chief could have lead that charge in July of 2012 as even Louisiana that was 1st in line to get killed by the legislation didn't have a clue..so where Chief would we get the ranks for as you put it "Anarcho"? I agree with the "either gang" with regard to most issues but believe with Sandy good will continue to come from our Senator if the locals don't screw it up because they are not getting a piece or the political credit...Ron
HADeNUF April 23, 2013 at 09:48 PM
How many people live on the water make less than 80000 combined family income????????What are they gonna do with all the money?Wait a minute what money!!!!!!We are Screwed!!!!!
JB April 23, 2013 at 10:02 PM
Im just going to set my house on fire and collect the insurance money and start over. I bet Im not the only one.
SAVEOURCOMMUNITY April 23, 2013 at 10:07 PM
That was one of Save Our Communities 2013 comments to the Governor's CDBG plan. Only 1/3 of the money was going to homeowners of which 30% was going to families making over $80,000. If 80% of the money (not 1/3) was to go to homeowners a lot more families could have been helped. In addition, 48% of the CDBG can now be diverted by the State to go to areas that never saw any Sandy damage. Ask your elected officials as Our representatives, where they were in providing written comments to the Governor's plan the majority of which is not going where congress intended it to go: Sandy affected homeowners. I know where our grassroots organization was. Ron https://www.facebook.com/SaveOurNJCommunities?fref=ts
Ken April 24, 2013 at 03:40 AM
I think the town hired 5 people to handle these 10 people, Juan Bellu said the work load is overwhelming
bernie April 24, 2013 at 11:46 AM
Hazard mitigation grant is the one that's going to help the majority according to a friend from Louisiana. Cdbg was for low income housing families. There are plenty with under an $80k income living in water front communities. A lot of the baywood and shore acres communities are 2nd n 3rd generation
Credence is April 24, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Those on Council and adminstration who's homes were "damaged" by the storm should not have anything to do with the legislation of any maps or rules.
bernie April 24, 2013 at 06:41 PM
I believe your backwards. That's who we want inn our corner fighting for the corrections

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