How Reimbursement Works
As a result of efforts by the Christie Administration, the New Jersey Congressional delegation, and others, the federal government agreed to allow homeowners impacted by Superstorm Sandy to be reimbursed for eligible costs associated with repairing or rebuilding and elevating a home. Per federal government regulations, the State can only reimburse homeowners for eligible costs incurred prior to the date a Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) Program application was submitted. The RREM Program defines incurred as: (1) any work/construction costs prior to submission of a RREM application, and (2) work was completed after the date of an application submission but it was performed under an enforceable contractual obligation with a builder that pre-dated the application.
Homeowners must first receive notification they have been preliminarily funded for the RREM Program before they can be reimbursed for eligible expenses. Please note, RREM grant awards cannot exceed $150,000. Homeowners will have the option of receiving a portion of their RREM grant award as reimbursement if applicable. However, the federal government has placed the following limitations on what costs can be reimbursed:
- Reimbursement only applies to activities completed within the same footprint of the damaged structure as required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
- Homeowners are still required to have an initial site inspection and environmental review of their property even if they have completed construction.
- Homeowners can only be reimbursed for costs deemed to be reasonable and necessary.
Please note that even if a house has been rebuilt or repaired, the RREM Program may still require the home to be elevated to comply with federal, state, and RREM Program requirements.
Any work or construction costs completed after the date of a RREM application submission up until environmental clearance is granted are not eligible for reimbursement.
- Reimbursement Disbursement Request – only applies to those applicants who are preliminarily funded, determined eligible, and have completed an initial site inspection and environmental review.
- Environmental Clearance Notification – only applies to those applicants who are preliminarily funded and have completed an environmental review.