Ocean County Press Release

TOMS RIVER - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has approved a $1.4 million combined grant to combat homelessness in Ocean County, Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari announced.

"We are extremely pleased that our application to HUD has met with full approval," Vicari said. "This money will continue to support vital programs to help our less-fortunate families have a roof over their heads."

The grant includes $989,514 in federal HOME funding grants.
The money will be used for rental housing, rental assistance, housing rehabilitation and the First-Time Homebuyers program.

"The award represents a 4 percent increase over 2013, Vicari added.

The federal department also approved $1,043,916 million in Community Development Block Grants, a third of which is earmarked for homeless programs.

Allocations include $285,750 for both housing rehabilitation and emergency housing rehabilitation.

A portion of the grant money will also help pay for a number of programs for low-income, disabled and senior residents.

Among the recipients are King of Kings Community Church for a homeless shelter, Interfaith Hospitality Network for a shelter and assistance to homeless families with children, Hometown Heroes for housing assistance, Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties and Ocean County Hunger Relief.

Remaining funding is allocated for senior transportation, handicapped access in various towns and other programs.

Freeholder Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Department of Planning, said the Freeholders have a long history of using these federal funds to help the county's low-income population.

"To date, more than 1,000 housing units have been rehabilitated for low-income families," Little said. "Our First-Time Homebuyers program has assisted 456 families in purchasing their first home."

Little said another 718 families have been provided with rental subsidies through the federal grants.

The original funding recommendations were made by the County Housing Advisory Committee and the CDBG Steering Committee, which consists of a representative from each of the county's participating municipalities.

A total of six public hearings were held on the grant applications earlier this year.

Brick, Lakewood, Toms River and Jackson townships make their own separate applications for CDBG funds.

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