Sandy Survivors Appeal to Legislators to Deliver “Bill of Rights”
Call on State to be more responsive


Homeowners affected by Superstorm Sandy and advocates hosted a telephone press conference today calling on reforms to the Sandy rebuilding process via the Sandy “Bill of Rights.” Expressing frustrations with the State’s recovery efforts, Sandy Survivors made an appeal to legislators to override Governor Christie’s conditional veto of the bill. The New Jersey Senate is expected to vote on an override within the next week.

“I’m still waiting for RREM to grant me an award, they haven’t granted me anything yet. I made a couple of phone calls and got nowhere. I called the State and talked to someone but haven’t heard anything yet. It’s been about eight weeks since they came out and did a home inspection on our property and I haven’t heard anything.”
-Keisha Baldwin, homeowner from Newark

“I was one of the first people who applied for both the Resettlement and RREM grants through the New Jersey Strong program and the process has been incredibly uninformative and unhelpful. I never received an appointment; I pushed until I went to the office in Freehold, only to be told that people in manufactured homes were not eligible for the RREM program because they didn’t pay property taxes. There was an incredible confusion in these two programs on how to evaluate applications from people in manufactured homes because we owned the homes and leased the land.

“This Sandy Bill of Rights is incredibly important to us because nobody is giving us a reason for these denials. It’s just these very opaque, general letters. You don’t know what it is you haven’t done that they want.”
-Lori Dibble, manufactured homeowner from Highlands

“It’s been very, very confusing trying to find what the path to getting help has been.

“From the very beginning, the lack of information and the lack of understanding of what any of us should be doing in our situations. I kind of understand all sides of the story because a disaster of this magnitude has not happened before. It’s not like it affected a block or a town, it affected hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people so I can certainly understand how this would be a difficult and time consuming situation. What I’m hoping is that from this, we all learn something.”
-John Lambert, homeowner from Neptune

“The State had been given over a hundred million dollars to help small businesses to recover from the storm and so far only about twenty three million has gone out. That means the majority of the funds are sitting unspent and idle while many of the businesses are still suffering and still need the money. So clear we have a lot more work to do. The reason the money hasn’t gone out is because the program has been utterly mismanaged.”
-Dena Mottola Jaborska, director of organizing and strategic program development for New Jersey Citizen Action

“This bill is critical to Sandy victims. It is unconscionable that there are still families who are displaced. It is fiscally irresponsible that we haven’t figured out a comprehensive and effective way to help small business owners. We think that every legislator, whether a republican or democrat, should be held accountable by their constituents and should vote in a way that actually supports their constituents instead of trying to appease Governor Christie in this instance.”
-Analilia Mejia, director of NJ Working Families

“Sandy survivors are not getting the answers they need,  so they have no choice but to make noise to be heard and get some answers. This should be an opportunity for people to vote their conscious and to vote for a bill they voted for before.

“The  State should be responsible for managing the recovery in a way that is time sensitive and responsive and obviously making sure that the information is easy to understand.
-Staci Berger, president and CEO of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey

The Housing and Community Development Network is the state wide association of more than 250 community development corporations and other organizations working together to create affordable homes, expand economic opportunities, and build strong communities. For more information on the Network, visit

For more information:  Nina Arce
(609) 393-3752 x1200
(609) 789-7900
Twitter site:
Facebook site: