Almost 1/3 of Sandy Relief Funds Went to Unaffected Areas
Another big reason why government should not be involved in disaster relief. Let private insurance handle it. Sure, be there for the emergency rescue part, but stay out of the rebuilding. That is not government’s job.
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The Star-Ledger’s new analysis of the distribution of relief funds for victims of Hurricane Sandy has found that almost one third of the federal money provided to New Jersey went to relatively unaffected areas. This is the latest in a string of reports by the state’s biggest newspaper suggesting Governor Chris Christie misappropriated Sandy funds.
According to the paper, $47.6 million,meant to build new affordable housing projects for those displaced by the hurricane went to projects in Essex and Middlesex counties–the inland counties home to Newark and New Brunswick, respectively. Essex County received 16.1% of the total money, while Middlesex received 13.7%. Meanwhile, shore areas in Ocean County received 7.7% in federal funds. Ocean County is home to the iconic post-Sandy image of Seaside Heights’ signature roller coaster floating in the sea by the ruined boardwalk.
Anthony Marchetta, executive director of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, told The Star-Ledger that the distribution of funds made sense and was not based on any political affiliations that would cause the government to give some mayors more money than others, despite the lack of obvious damage. Instead, the state agency sought to provide money to “shovel-ready” jobs already designed and ready to go to provide the fastest new housing for residents. Sometimes, he explained, this would mean building in areas like New Brunswick and moving residents north and away from the side. “Based on what I know,” he told the paper, “I think we did a pretty good job.”