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New Documents from Christie Administration Purport to Show How RREM Applicants Prioritized

Posted by Laura Denker on November 5th 2013

As many of you know, we have since July been attempting to get the Christie Administration to explain how it is prioritizing who gets grants and who does not in its funding for homeowners and renters impacted by Sandy.

Today we are posting an important new document provided by the State in response to our requests. Many people impacted by Sandy have told us about a letter they received from DCA, in many cases in August, saying that they were not getting RREM money. The letter says that some people were chosen over others due to “computer-based randomization and criteria that prioritized severity of damage and financial need.”

We asked for files showing how that randomization worked. We have received from the State a response that purports to show a ranking – both for low and moderate income households (“LMI sequence”) and all households (“Non-LMI sequence”) – that is the priority by which people were supposedly selected for RREM. Please visit http://goo.gl/wDjOas to review the document we received.

We say supposedly, because we can’t make sense of how these numbers match up with what actually happened. For example, we know that the person ranked 4th highest in the entire state for priority among low and moderate income families is on the waitlist; so are people ranked 2nd, 6th, and 7th in the entire state for priority among all families.

We are not sure how it can be that people are told that they are on the waitlist because they are lower priority, yet people who the State shows as such high priority are on the waitlist.

We have also been asking the State since July for a written explanation of how these priorities work. We still have nothing that answers that question.

Once you have reviewed the information in these files connected to your personal application ID, if you believe the information is not accurate, or have questions, please share your concerns in our Still Stuck with the Storm online forms http://fairsharehousing.org/sandy and immediately contact your Legislator and explain your concerns.

We will respond to all information shared with us through the Still Stuck with the Storm forms as soon as we can. As those forms note, we are not able to provide direct legal representation to individuals due to limited resources. If you need legal representation, you should consult an attorney by calling your local bar association, or visit http://www.vljnj.org/.