Step 4 – Meeting With Housing Advisor
Once the RREM Program has confirmed that you have met all the eligibility criteria, you will be required to attend a mandatory in-person meeting with your Housing Advisor. At this meeting, you will be able to review and discuss your grant award. You will also be required to sign the Declaration of Covenants. By signing the Declaration of Covenants, you are agreeing to comply with RREM Program requirements.
Once you have signed your grant award, you have the option (if applicable) to request to be reimbursed for eligible costs incurred prior to the date you submitted your RREM application. Your Housing Advisor will then submit the proper paperwork necessary to authorize a reimbursement payment to you. Additionally, you will have the option to submit a request for an Advance Payment to help with the upfront costs of starting construction.
Homeowners who signed their grant award after July 1, 2014 will have one (1) year from the date they sign their grant award to complete construction to both occupancy and elevation requirements, if elevation is required.
Below are some common questions you may have for this step of the RREM Program process:
What do I need to bring with me to my RREM appointment with my Housing Advisor?
You will need to bring photo identification. Your Housing Advisor will advise of any outstanding documents that needed to be completed or signed. If you have not already confirmed your eligibility for RREM assistance, please return to Step 3: Eligibility Confirmation. Without confirming your eligibility, you will not be scheduled for a grant award signing with your Housing Advisor
How is my RREM Program grant award calculated?
The federal government requires that homeowners are not provided more grant funds than needed to repair and/or rebuild their home. Therefore, a duplication of benefits analysis takes into consideration all of the funds you have received to repair your damaged home, including insurance, FEMA assistance, SBA loan, and assistance from non-profit and charitable organizations that were for the rebuilding of your home. Note that this applies only to assistance received for repairing or reconstructing your home, not other types of services or assistance you may have received.
To calculate your RREM grant award, all the sources of funding assistance you have received are added together and then subtracted from the cost to repair determined by the Initial Site Inspection. For example, if the cost to repair your home is $250,000 and you received an insurance settlement for $175,000 and no funds from FEMA, SBA or a charitable organization, your RREM award would be $75,000 ($250,000 minus $175,000).
How does the reimbursement process work?
Please visit the RREM Program’s How Reimbursement Works webpage.
What is an Advance Payment Request?
Homeowners who already are under contract with a builder who is licensed and registered in the State of New Jersey can make an initial funds request for up to fifty percent of their grant award, less any funds taken as reimbursement, to mobilize for construction. In order to submit an Advance Payment Request, the RREM Program will require an executed legal contract between you and your contractor.
What is the Declaration of Covenants?
The federal government requires homeowners to meet certain construction standards and comply with the conditions in their environmental clearance. Since the program is providing reimbursement and construction advance funds to you, the program will record a restrictive covenant against your property until work is complete to program standards. You will be required to sign the Declaration of Covenants at your grant award signing meeting, which will be recorded against your property.
Once you have completed the necessary elevation and construction requirements, the Declaration will be released on your property. Failure to comply with the RREM Program’s requirements will result in you having to return your grant award.
What is retainage? Why is it on my grant award calculation?
At the grant award signing, a portion of your grant award will be set aside as retainage. Retainage is funding that will be withheld until all construction is complete and the RREM Program has reviewed your duplication of benefits. To calculate retainage, the RREM Program will withhold ten percent of your grant award or the Estimated Cost to Repair (ECR) if the ECR is less than ten percent of the grant award.
By holding this retainage, the RREM Program is ensuring your contractor finishes the work as specified in your Estimated Cost to Repair.
Do I choose my own builder to complete my construction?
You are responsible for selecting your own builder. Builders are required to be properly licensed for the type of construction they are doing, and cannot be on the State of New Jersey or federal debarment lists.
How do I reschedule my RREM appointment with my Housing Advisor?
If you need to reschedule your appointment, please contact your Housing Advisor or your county’s Housing Recovery Center. Contact information can be found by visiting our Contact Us page.
Commonly Used Documents:
RREM Grants: What Homeowners Should Know about Duplication of Benefits