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More Help Coming for Sandy-Displaced Homeowners [AUDIO]

Eighteen months after Superstorm Sandy slammed the Garden State, some are complaining the grant process to help those affected by the hurricane has slowed down to a trickle, but Gov. Chris Christie insists that’s just not the case.

Gov. Chris Christie
Gov. Chris Christie in studio for ‘Ask the Governor,’ April 21, 2014 (Annette Petriccione, Townsquare Media NJ)

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“We’re doing 600 grant closings this month,” Christie said last night on Townsquare Media’s Ask the Governor program. “That’s double what we did three months ago.”

He said part of the problem is that people are still on the waiting list because new federal money hasn’t been approved yet, and won’t be approved until sometime next month.

“And then when it is,” he said, “it takes some time to start flowing again, so we’re still on the first tranche of money, not the second.”

The governor said once those funds arrive, a total of $1.5 billion will have been funneled to help New Jersey residents get back into their Sandy-damaged homes.

“I think the process is going much, much better than before; we learn more how to make it better each and every week, and we have made it better,” he said. “A relatively small minority of people are still out of their homes — we’re talking about 8 or 9,000 households in a state of 8.9 million people — but it’s important to remember, we’re not going to stop until everybody who can get their home rebuilt will be able to, but we’ve made some really good progress.”

Christie said more on-location cabinet meetings will take place, including another one coming up in a few days, to give those impacted by Sandy the chance to ask questions directly to cabinet officers in charge of the programs designed to offer help.

More highlights from the April Ask the Governor program

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