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RREM News and Updates

6/1/17: Notice About Validating a Contractor Before Signing a Contract
RREM homeowners are encouraged to conduct thorough research and obtain several estimates before selecting any contractors. It is highly recommended that they complete the RREM contractor validation process prior to signing a contract. The process ensures that their selected contractor has the appropriate state licenses and is not debarred from working on federal or state programs. RREM homeowners are advised that if they have changed builders during the construction process, they must contact their Project Manager to validate their new contractor. Should they proceed with construction work prior to contractor validation, they are at risk of forfeiting payment if the contractor is not program-eligible. For additional information, a RREM homeowner can contact their Project Manager.

 

3/7/17: Uniform Relocation Assistance

The Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation, and Mitigation (RREM) Program provides up to $150,000 of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds to Sandy-impacted homeowners for activities necessary to restore their storm-damaged homes. One of the conditions of the use of CDBG-DR funds is that the State of New Jersey complies with Section 414 of the Robert T. Stafford Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1974, which is commonly referred to as the “Stafford Act”. The policy adopted by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to implement the provisions of Section 414 of the Stafford Act includes a requirement that Homeowners/Landlords who are participating in the RREM Program must make an effort to notify any tenants who were residents of their home at the time of Superstorm Sandy that they may be eligible for relocation benefits. In instances where a Homeowner/Landlord in the RREM Program has been unable to make contact with a displaced tenant(s), DCA initiates additional outreach to locate the tenant(s) to inform them that they may be eligible for possible relocation benefits under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970. If you are a tenant who occupied one of the following properties at the time of Superstorm Sandy, please contact DCA Program Specialist Tanja Silver at Tanja.Silver@dca.nj.gov or 609-292-4086:

Atlantic County: 101 N. Brighton Ave., Atlantic City NJ, 4135 Winchester Ave., Atlantic City NJ; Bergen County: 86 Main St., Little Ferry, NJ, 51 Eckel Rd., Little Ferry NJ, 35 Pickens St., Little Ferry, NJ; Essex County: 64 Huntington Terr., 3rd Fl., Newark NJ; Hudson County: 16 Colonial Dr., Bayonne NJ; Middlesex County: 27 E. 2nd St., Port Reading NJ; Ocean County: 1510 S. Bay Ave., Beach Haven NJ, 512 Stone Harbor Ave., Ocean Gate NJ, 12 Cindy Dr., Manahawkin NJ, 67 Stockton Ave., 1st Fl., Seaside Park NJ

2/1/17 UPDATE: Notice about Completing All Scope of Work before Scheduling a Final Inspection

RREM homeowners are reminded that the scope of work for their project must be complete before they schedule their final inspection. This includes all items detailed in their Estimated Cost to Repair (ECR) Report, as well as any items added through scope adjustments. If RREM homeowners need a copy of their ECR Report or scope adjustments, they can contact their Project Manager. The RREM Program is required to amend their scope of work to remove any items that have not been completed at the time of final inspection. RREM homeowners should be aware that the removal of any items from the scope of work may reduce their grant award amount. Any work that is finished after the date of their final inspection will not be authorized for grant funding.

 

12/19/16 UPDATE: Notice about Discovery of Archeological Deposits

RREM homeowners are required to notify the RREM Program if there is a discovery of archeological deposits, including any Native American pottery, stone tools, bones, or human remains, during their construction project. In the event that archeological deposits are uncovered, RREM homeowners must stop work immediately in the vicinity of the discovery and contact their Housing Advisor to notify her/him of the deposits. RREM homeowners must also take reasonable measures to avoid or minimize harm to the archeological deposits and ensure RREM Program compliance by not resuming work in the area until formally directed by the RREM Program. The RREM Program will coordinate with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Sandy Recovery Office and the New Jersey State Historic Preservation Office to ensure that all appropriate steps are taken. Since RREM Program projects are federally funded, all activities must comply with the General Conditions for Approval and all Project Specific Conditions located at the end of a RREM homeowner’s environmental review. For additional information, a RREM homeowner can contact their Housing Advisor.

 

7/14/16 UPDATE: Overview of the RREM Program Closeout Process

RREM homeowners are encouraged to use A Homeowner’s Guide on the RREM Program Closeout Process as a reference so that they are aware of the process and the steps to be taken once the repairs to their property have been completed, and they have obtained a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) from their municipality. Homeowners are advised it is a RREM Program requirement to have a CO on file in order to schedule a RREM Program Final Inspection and move their application through the closeout process. Any unreasonable delays in submitting a CO to the RREM Program upon receipt from the municipality may result in a RREM homeowner’s application being administratively withdrawn.

7/5/16 UPDATE: Notice to Report Additional Duplication of Benefits (DOB)

RREM homeowners who receive additional third party funds (i.e.,  flood and homeowners insurance, Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC), FEMA assistance, SBA loans, non-profit assistance) beyond what was reported on their last executed Exhibit 1 must report the additional funds in writing with supporting documentation to: Sandy Recovery Division, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Attention: Office of Compliance and Monitoring, 101 South Broad Street, P.O. Box 823, Trenton, NJ 08625-0823. The RREM Program will determine if the additional third party funds constitute a duplication of benefits (DOB) and if it will impact a homeowner’s grant award as a result. For additional information on DOB, please review RREM Tip Sheet: Duplication of Benefits (DOB)

 

6/3/16 UPDATE: Important Notice About Payment Requests

When a homeowner submits invoices with their payment request, not every invoice may be accepted as proof of eligible expenses. A homeowner’s RREM Project Manager will review their invoices against their Estimated Cost to Repair (“ECR”) report to determine what repairs are eligible to be paid for by the RREM Program. If a homeowner receives a payment for less than what they requested, this means there were invoices submitted which were not approved for payment. A homeowner may still be eligible for this unpaid portion of grant funds provided they are able to submit proper invoices and supporting documentation in their next payment request. Homeowners may contact their RREM Project Manager if they have any questions about what constitutes an eligible invoice or about the payment request process.

 

5/19/16 UPDATE: Important Notice About Extension Requests Starting June 1, 2016

Effective June 1, 2016, the RREM Program will no longer approve any project deadline or conditional deadline extension requests for homeowners who do not have a validated contractor. Before the RREM Program grants a homeowner an extension for additional time to complete a project, the Program wants to ensure at minimum that a homeowner has the ability to start construction by having a contractor selected and validated. Homeowners who do not have a validated contractor will be advised that their deadline extension request cannot be processed and to resubmit a request once they have a validated contractor. For homeowners who are currently in the middle of an extension, this change will have no bearing on their construction deadline. Homeowners can contact their RREM Project Manager with their selected contractor to begin the validation process.

4/15/16 UPDATE: Important Notice about ICC Payments

Homeowners who are policyholders through the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are eligible to receive up to $30,000 under the Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage. The RREM Program needs to identity homeowners who are approved for an ICC claim in order to capture these funds as a Duplication of Benefits as outlined in the RREM Grant Agreement. As a result, homeowners are asked to complete the ICC Self-Certification form to attest to whether they have received or will receive an ICC payment(s). Once complete, homeowners can email the form to notifications@renewjerseystronger.org with attention to their Housing Advisor.

3/3/16 UPDATE: State Extends Rental Assistance for up to an Additional Year for Homeowners in RREM and the LMI Homeowners Rebuilding Programs

The State has extended for up to an additional year temporary rental help under the Rental Assistance Program (RAP) available to Sandy-impacted homeowners who are paying rent while rebuilding their primary residences through the RREM Program or the Low- to Moderate-Income (LMI) Homeowners Rebuilding Program. The RAP Program initially provided up to nine months of rental assistance, but now eligible applicants are able to receive another 12 months of rental assistance for up to a total of 21 months.

12/9/15 UPDATE: Sandy Constituent Services Office

The Sandy Constituent Services Office in the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs is an additional resource to utilize for homeowners with questions about their recovery effort. Homeowners’ primary contacts for questions about their rebuilding project remain their Housing Advisor and their Project Manager. However, if they need additional assistance, have a general recovery inquiry, or have questions about recovery programs other than RREM, DCA’s Sandy Constituent Services Office has knowledgeable representatives who can help. The Sandy Constituent Services Office can be reached them by calling (609) 292-3750 or (609) 633-1328 or by emailing sandy.recovery@dca.nj.gov.

8/21/15 UPDATE: Avoiding Home Repair Scams

The NJ Division of Consumer Affairs created a tip sheet for homeowners in the RREM Program and LMI Homeowners Rebuilding Program on how to avoid home repair scams when selecting a home improvement and/or home elevation contractor. Contact the Division of Consumer Affairs at 800-242-5846, NJConsumerAffairs.gov, or by email at AskConsumerAffairs@dca.lps.state.nj.us to learn if a home improvement and/or home elevation contractor is registered to do business in the state or has been the subject of consumer complaints.

7/6/15 UPDATE: Lead-Based Paint Requirements

If homeowners have lead paint in their home and they are rehabilitating their residence through the RREM Program (as opposed to demolishing and reconstructing it), then they must have a lead clearance examination performed and acquire a lead clearance report from a certified professional. Homeowners can learn more by reading the Lead-Based Paint Requirements tip sheet.

5/4/15 UPDATE: RREM Program Construction Progress Questionnaire

RREM homeowners are strongly urged to complete the RREM Program Construction Progress Questionnaire at https://apps.siroms.com/ApplicationQuestionnaire. Completed questionnaires will help the NJ Department of Community Affairs better assist RREM homeowners in completing their construction project.

2/17/15 UPDATE: Today’s RREM Information Session will be postponed.

Due to the inclement weather conditions in Seaside Park, today’s RREM Information Session will be postponed. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is actively working with Seaside Park to reschedule the session at a date in the near future. DCA will issue an updated press release as soon as a new date and time have been confirmed. Thank you for your patience and safe travels.