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Sandy Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program

As of April 6, 2015, the Sandy Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program is no longer accepting applications.

Tenant-based Rental Assistance (TBRA) Program Guidelines
Tenant-based Rental Assistance (TBRA) Program Summary Guidelines

This program provides short-term, temporary tenant-based rental assistance in the form of a voucher to assist eligible low- and moderate-income households with their rent in the nine counties most impacted by Superstorm Sandy, which are Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union.

The NJ Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has conducted a lottery to randomize all Sandy Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program applications submitted by the deadline and assign each application a number. The program received more than 3,000 applications. Because more applications were received than there is funding available, the DCA will not be able to assist everyone who applied to the program. The DCA anticipates awarding approximately 1,400 rental assistance vouchers to applicants who meet both the program’s income requirements and priorities.

On May 1, 2015, the DCA began sending letters and application packets to the first group of applicants selected in the lottery to seek documentation of household income and verification that they meet all the program’s eligibility requirements. Letters and application packets will be sent to groups of 400 to 500 applicants at a time throughout the spring and summer. Applicants will be notified by the DCA if their application was not selected in the lottery.

Applicants will be receiving a letter later this month explaining how they can update their address with the DCA via regular mail.

The Sandy tenant-based rental assistance is for 12 months with an option to renew for up to an additional 12 months. The program’s maximum assistance is 24 months; no extensions beyond 24 months will be granted. Eligible applicants must have lived in one of the nine Sandy-impacted counties at the time of the storm.

Program Application: If you have a FEMA Registration Number, enter it in the required field. If you do not have a FEMA number, enter N/A (not available). A FEMA number is not required to be eligible for Sandy TBRA. For assistance filing out the Application Form, please contact the Sandy Housing Counseling Program. in your county.

Program Eligibility:

  • Tenant must qualify as low- to moderate-income, which means their household gross income must be at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income for their county. The income limits are established by household size and revised annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
  • The link below provides the household gross income limits that apply to the Sandy TBRA Program.
    2016 80% Area Median Income (AMI) Limits for the Nine Most Impacted Counties
  • Tenant lived in one of the nine most impacted counties at the time of Superstorm Sandy – October 29, 2012. The nine most impact counties are Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union.
  • All program participants must rent a unit in one of the nine most impacted counties.
  • Tenants must not be receiving any type of housing subsidy when they apply to the program.
  • If the tenant previously received rental housing assistance from FEMA for Superstorm Sandy, the rental subsidy or the rental unit are no longer available.

Program Prioritization: Because of the limited federal funding available for the program, the following applicants will be given priority:

  • Tenants whose household gross incomes are at or below 30 percent of the Area Median Income for their county; and
  • Tenants who were directly displaced by Superstorm Sandy and who continue to need rental housing assistance.

What to Expect:

  • Tenants who are approved for rental assistance will pay approximately 30 percent of their monthly household gross income for rent and tenant-paid utilities.
  • Tenants must select a rental unit that meets Section 8 Housing Quality Standards and, for units built prior to 1978, that are in compliance with HUD’s Lead Safe Housing Rule.
  • Tenants who are approved will receive rental assistance for 12 months with an option to renew for up to an additional 12 months. The maximum assistance is 24 months.

For More Information

For more information regarding the Sandy Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program, please use the following links:
TBRA Program Guidelines
Tenant-based Rental Assistance (TBRA) Program Summary Guidelines

Sandy Recovery Housing Counseling

Free HUD-certified housing counseling services that address a wide range of financial and housing issues are available to renters and homeowners who were impacted by Superstorm Sandy and lived in one of the nine counties most impacted by the storm at the time of Sandy. For more information about these free services, please visit Sandy Recovery Housing Counseling Program. Interested applicants may also complete and submit the Superstorm Sandy Assistance Notification Form to receive additional emails and alerts about the program. Housing counselors can also help renters and homeowners complete and submit applications to State-funded recovery programs and services, answer questions about the application process and obligations for program participation, and refer clients to other applicable State-funded recovery resources for which they may be eligible. Additional language translation services are available. These language translation services are available free of charge.