Housing & Community Development Network to Perform Sandy Outreach
Effort to reach underrepresented residents facing recovery challenges


The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) will be providing additional outreach services to low and moderate income homeowners and renters, and those with limited English proficiency who are still in need of Sandy recovery assistance.  The outreach effort is to ensure that residents of Sandy-impacted communities who may still be in need of recovery services are aware of the availability of programs in the second tranche of federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery funds.

“Recovering from the devastation after the storm has been overwhelming for our residents, especially for our neighbors who speak languages other than English or who need help navigating the recovery system,” said Staci Berger, Network president and CEO. “The Network and our members have a proven track record of community outreach and education skills that have helped inform tens of thousands of New Jersey residents over the last 25 years. We’re looking forward to reaching out to Sandy survivors and helping them access the resources available to them.”

Over the last two years, the Network and its member organizations and partners have helped individuals and neighborhoods recover and rebuild from Superstorm Sandy. Having over a hundred members as well as strong collaborative partnerships that serve the hardest hit counties, the Network has a wide and deep presence in each affected area and unparalleled experience connecting hard to reach residents with the resources they need.

“The strength of our Network comes from the diversity of our membership and our ability to address specific needs in each local community,” said Berger. “We are very pleased that the nonprofit community will be able to assist in this way, connecting families with information about manufactured and individual home rebuilding, current and future rental opportunities and critical housing counseling services. We will have a multi-pronged approach that includes community presentations, tabling and event communications and door-to-door canvassing, in multiple languages, to reach New Jerseyans who still need to access recovery resources.”

The plan to increase outreach is outlined in the Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA) entered into between the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Fair Share Housing Center, Latino Action Network and New Jersey State Conference of the NAACP. Under the VCA, the State will further ensure access to recovery resources for lower-income renters and homeowners by targeting the hardest hit areas and providing an opportunity for funding to households which may have had difficulty gaining access to disaster recovery programs. Additionally, information will be provided in Spanish and other languages so that people whose primary language is not English will be provided full access to all information needed to recover from the storm. While the outreach effort will launch in mid-November, housing counseling services will be available to Sandy-impacted residents over the next several years.

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

For more information:  Nina Arce
(609) 393-3752 x1200
(609) 789-7900
Website:  hcdnnj.org
Twitter site:  twitter.com/hcdnnj
Facebook site:  facebook.com/hcdnnj