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Pallone and 26 Mayors Call on HUD Secretary Donovan to Keep Sandy Aid in New Jersey

May 22, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) led an effort by 26 of New Jersey’s Sixth Congressional District mayors to call on U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan to reject a reported plan to divert funds from the Sandy relief package to other regions of the country.  The 26 mayors represent some of the hardest hit areas affected by the Superstorm. 

The potential HUD plan could result in the creation of a competitive grant program, allowing regions affected by other disasters to compete for dollars from the Sandy aid package.  Pallone has previously called on the HUD Secretary to abandon the proposed plan, which could result in the loss of more than $1 billion intended for Sandy victims.  Pallone led Members of the New Jersey Congressional Delegation in a letter to Secretary Donovan informing him of their concern for the proposal and joined a meeting with other New Jersey Members of Congress where he and others voiced their strong opposition to the Sandy relief diversion plan, noting that it was premature to draw funds from Sandy victims when so many had not yet received the dollars that had been promised to assist in recovery.

Pallone noted the strong opposition of the mayors throughout the Sixth Congressional district, all of whom have firsthand knowledge of the specific recovery needs of their regions in a cover letter addressed to Secretary Donovan.

The following is the text of both letters:

                                                                                                                       May 22, 2014


The Honorable Shaun Donovan


United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

451 Seventh Street, SW

Washington, DC 20410


Dear Secretary Donovan,

            Attached, please find a letter from 25 mayors from the 6th Congressional District of New Jersey regarding reports that Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funds will be diverted out of the Sandy-affected region.  I previously wrote to you with my colleagues in the New Jersey Congressional delegation strongly opposing any plan to divert these funds outside of the Sandy-affected region.

            As you can see, local elected officials in New Jersey share my concern as they struggle to rebuild and recover from Superstorm Sandy.  We hope that you reconsider any plan to shift these funds to other regions of the country.  Thank you.




Member of Congress


                                                                                                                  May 22, 2014

The Honorable Shaun Donovan


United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

451 Seventh Street, SW

Washington, DC 20410


Dear Secretary Donovan,

            We write today regarding the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) plans for allocation of the third tranche of Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds.  Recent press reports have cited sources within HUD who have stated that there are plans to hold a national resiliency competition that could divert to other regions of the country more than $1 billion in funds meant for Sandy victims.

            We strongly urge you to reject this misguided proposal.  The communities we represent are still struggling to recover from the devastation of Superstorm Sandy and until our needs are met it is inappropriate and cruel to discuss redirecting recovery dollars meant for Sandy victims to other parts of the country.  Thousands of New Jersey homeowners remain waitlisted for grants to lift their homes, while small businesses in our communities are shutting their doors and struggling to rebuild.

            Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. has called on HUD to reject this plan for a national resiliency competition and – as local elected officials representing those struggling to rebuild –we join his call for this critical recovery aid to remain in the Sandy-affected region.  The State of New Jersey’s recently amended CDBG-DR Action Plan cites $1.6 billion in unmet housing needs, $17 billion in unmet infrastructure needs, and $241 million in unmet economic development needs.  These are not just numbers to us.  They represent the local citizens who we serve and are still displaced from their homes, struggling to pay a mortgage on a home they cannot live in or afford to repair.  We all recognize the importance of preparing for the next storm; however, we cannot move on from Sandy and leave so many New Jersey families without assistance.



Mayor Fred Tagliarini


Mayor David McLaughlin


Mayor Myra Campbell

Asbury Park

Mayor Frederick Rast

Atlantic Highlands

Mayor Daniel Reiman


Mayor Thomas Lankey


Mayor James DiNardo


Mayor Frank Nolan


Mayor Arthur Boden


Mayor Harry Aumack


Mayor Paul Fernicola

Loch Arbour

Mayor Adam Schneider

Long Branch

Mayor Jon Hornick


Mayor Paul Buccellato


Mayor Stephanie Murray


Mayor Susan Howard

Monmouth Beach

Mayor James Cahill

New Brunswick

Mayor Michael Mahon


Mayor Wilda Diaz

Perth Amboy

Mayor Brian Wahler


Mayor Kennedy O’Brien


Mayor Dina Long

Sea Bright

Mayor Fred Henry

South Amboy

Mayor Matthew Anesh

South Plainfield

Mayor Paul Smith

Union Beach

Mayor John McCormac