Poor missing out on Sandy grants, N.J. advocacy group claims

A group that defends the rights of poor New Jersey residents is raising concerns about some of the grant money going to people hard hit by Hurricane Sandy.

Sixty percent of the $10,000 grants to help homeowners with Sandy damage rebuild and stay in those homes were supposed to go to low- and moderate-income households, said Kevin Walsh with the Fair Share Housing Center.

But he claimed they’ve only been allocated 37 percent of those grants, while homeowners with higher incomes got a larger percentage.

“From what we can tell, some people were told they’re not eligible, don’t apply, when they were eligible,” Walsh said Wednesday. “The state has done a bad job of sharing information in Spanish when a substantial percentage of the people impacted are Spanish.”

Walsh says he hopes the problems will be corrected when the state gets its next allocation of federal Sandy recovery funds. If not, he said, there could be legal action to make sure low-income residents get a fair share of the money.

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