Ocean County Press Release
FREEHOLDERS AWARD FEDERAL HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FUNDS
NEARLY $2 MILLION in federal housing and development funds will help provide affordable housing throughout Ocean County and assist municipalities renovate sidewalks and roads and improve handicapped access to public areas.
The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders approved a $1,035,198 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and a $918,115 federal HOME award following a public hearing on May 2.
"Funding for both of these programs has been significantly cut by the federal government because of the budget crisis in Washington," said Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little.
Little said the county's CDBG award was cut by 7 percent compared to 2011.
Nationally, the program was reduced by 11 percent.
Likewise, the county's HOME funds were reduced by 26 percent, compared to 38 percent nationally.
"Despite these cuts, we will invest these funds in programs that improve the quality of life for the residents of Ocean County," Little said.
HOME funds will be allocated to four different programs, which have been successful in helping low-income families find a place to live.
The First-Time Home Buyers Program has already assisted 422 families in purchasing a home. HOME funding will assist another 20 families in 2012.
To date, 214 homes have been refurbished under the HOME Housing Rehabilitation Program. An additional 4 homes will be rehabilitated in 2012.
The Tenant Based Rental Assistance Program has helped 623 families meet their monthly rental payments. Another 20 families will benefit from this program in 2012.
CDBG funding will be divided between three major programs.
Fourteen municipalities will share in $562,082 that will be used for curb and sidewalk repair, improved handicapped access, road and drainage improvements and home rehabilitation.
The towns receiving awards ranging from $15,000 to $32,500 are: Barnegat Light, Beach Haven, Beachwood, Berkeley, Harvey Cedars, Island Heights, Lacey, Ocean, Pine Beach, Plumsted, Point Pleasant Beach, Surf City and Tuckerton.
Another $180,000 in CDBG funding will be awarded to 12 non-profit agencies and the townships of Barnegat and Stafford for a host of community programs ranging from municipal transportation to crisis hotlines, emergency food distribution and aid to the elderly.
The remaining funds will be used for the rehabilitation of 10 homes in the coming months.