The Gap Funding Initiative (GFI) is offering grants to help eligible homeowners cover the costs of home repairs incurred as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Applications are reviewed and grant decisions are made on an individual basis, taking into account household income, financial need, program funding parameters, and funding availability. Grants may be awarded in any amount up to a maximum of $20,000. Eligible homeowners must be approved for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation, and Mitigation (RREM) funds by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs' reNEW Jersey Stronger program and still have an 'unmet need' to cover the cost of home repairs (see Terms and Eligibility below). GFI grants are intended to help bridge these financial gaps.
GFI is a $15 million grant program funded by the American Red Cross and the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund and administered by New Jersey Community Capital. GFI estimates that it will be able to provide critical financial support to approximately 500 RREM-approved homeowners over the course of the program. Since GFI was launched in October 2013, more than 300 Sandy-impacted homeowners have been approved to benefit from the program.
GFI is not a reNEW Jersey Stronger or New Jersey Department of Community Affairs program. GFI grants are determined after the RREM Program's grant award calculation has been finalized and are considered personally-obtained funds. GFI will continue to make grants to help eligible homeowners until all funding has been committed.
GFI terms and eligibility are subject to change. Current program guidelines are as follows:
- Applicants must have been approved for RREM funding and have signed a RREM Grant Agreement.
- Applicants must have an ‘unmet need’ in excess of any construction contingency as determined in the ‘Homeowner Award Calculation’ prepared by the RREM Program.
- Applicant households must have an annual adjusted gross income of $100,000 or less or meet the criteria of a low-to-moderate income (LMI) household as determined by the RREM Program. Be advised that funding availability for non-LMI households with an annual adjusted gross income of $100,000 or less is extremely limited. Funding for GFI grants to non-LMI households will continue until all designated funds are fully committed.
- Applicants must reside in one of the following counties in New Jersey: Bergen, Hudson, Essex, Union, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic, or Cape May.
- Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received until all available grant funds are committed. Applications are reviewed and award decisions are made on an individual basis, taking into account household income, financial need, program funding parameters, and funding availability. Grants may be awarded in any amount up to a maximum of $20,000.
- GFI grants may not be used to fund homeowner-selected upgrades, to fund construction contingencies, or to reimburse homeowners for expenses incurred prior to their RREM Grant signing.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.RedCross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
The Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, chaired by First Lady Mary Pat Christie, raises and distributes funds to organizations active in the recovery and rebuilding efforts of communities impacted by the storm. The Relief Fund aims to make a sustainable, long-term impact and has awarded nearly $34 million to over 100 organizations assisting New Jerseyans with mental health support, social services, housing assistance and financial and legal counseling. You can learn more about the Relief Fund at: http://sandynjrelieffund.org.
New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) is a nonprofit community development financial institution that provides innovative financing and technical assistance to support sustainable community development ventures. Since being founded in 1987, NJCC has invested over $482 million to support families and communities in need, resulting in the creation or preservation of over 7,200 housing units, 6,600 early care spaces, 9,000 education slots, and 4,200 jobs across New Jersey. For more information about our programs visit www.NewJerseyCommunityCapital.org.