Who Says You Can’t Go Home? An Assessment of the Gap Funding Initiative: A recovery program for Survivors of Superstorm Sandy
Daniel Coghlan, Jackie Halliday, Michelle Horowitz, Jazmyne McNeese, Rena Sherman
Superstorm Sandy made landfall on the New Jersey southern coastline on October 29th, 2012. The Superstorm damaged or destroyed 346,000 homes, rendered 22,000 units uninhabitable, caused $36.8 billion in damages, and killed 37 people in New Jersey (State of New Jersey, 2013; Smith, 2013). In July 2014, almost two years after the storm, New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC), the American Red Cross, the Superstorm Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs worked together to administer the Gap Funding Initiative (GFI), which assisted low and moderate income (LMI) survivors to rebuild their homes. NJCC created GFI to help individuals for whom NJ’s Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation, and Mitigation (RREM) program was insufficient. Households approved by the RREM program were able to apply for the “Home Repair Initiative” (the program that eventually became GFI), which was designed to assist survivors whose costs of rebuilding exceeded the funds available to them, including resources such as insurance, federal dollars, and state recovery programs. Applicants were required to apply for the program, prove that RREM funds were insufficient, and advance construction funds.