PATERSON - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08) today announced that the federal government has extended individual assistance to Passaic County as a result of the impact of Hurricane Sandy, including individual assistance to the 11 remaining New Jersey counties not previously approved. Yesterday, Rep. Pascrell announced that public assistance was extended to all 21 counties in New Jersey.
"I commend President Obama for extending individual assistance to the residents of Passaic County," said Rep. Pascrell, who submitted a letter to the President requesting federal assistance for Passaic County. "Many residents in Passaic County are still without power, forced to find temporary housing as they put their lives back together after the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy. With assistance, I know that we can start the process of rebuilding so we are even stronger than they were before. We need the full resources of local, county, state and the federal government to assist the victims of this unprecedented storm to help them rebuild their lives."
Rep. Pascrell worked closely with local, state and FEMA officials in the wake of the storm to ensure that Passaic County received this much-needed federal assistance.
The Individuals and Households Program (IHP) provides financial help or direct services to those who have necessary expenses and serious needs if they are unable to meet the needs through other means. Up to $31,900 is available in financial help (adjusted each year), although some forms of IHP assistance have limits. Assistance includes, but not limited to, money to rent a different place to live or a temporary housing unit (when rental properties are not available); money for homeowners to repair damage from the disaster that is not covered by insurance; and repairing or replacing vehicles damaged by the disaster, or providing for public transportation or other transportation costs.
A copy of the letter from Rep. Pascrell is below:
October 30, 2012
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20500
Dear President Obama:
I am writing to request that you extend an Emergency Declaration for Individual and Public Assistance to Bergen and Passaic Counties in New Jersey, to assist in the recovery from the severe damage caused by Hurricane Sandy on October 29th, 2012.
I appreciate your quick approval of New Jersey’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration. However, I am extremely concerned that Bergen and Passaic Counties were not included in the initial emergency declaration. I understand that a review of the damage in these counties is ongoing, and that they may be added to the emergency declaration. I ask that you extend assistance to Bergen and Passaic counties as soon as possible.
There are reports of over 150,000 people without power in Bergen and Passaic counties. The storm also caused massive flooding that caused a levee break on the Hackensack River, forcing the evacuation of residents in Moonachie. There are reports of extensive flooding in Lyndhurst, Little Ferry, Carlstadt, and towns along the Passaic River as well.
As a result of the heavy rain and high winds, it is possible that thousands of residents in Bergen and Passaic counties will be without power, water or heat for days, and downed trees and wires will restrict travel. Furthermore, county and local governments have incurred millions of dollars in public infrastructure damage, and will be sure to incur millions more in recovery and reconstruction costs.
It is clear from the magnitude of the damage that recovery efforts will be beyond the means of state and local budgets, and many residents will need individual assistance to rebuild their homes. Our communities will need federal help to rebuild and recover from this severe storm.
Thank you for your timely consideration of this urgent request.
Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Member of Congress