Sandy-impacted home owners depending on the Rental Assistance Program (RAP) while trying to rebuild are getting two years of breathing space.

Townsquare Media

Federal officials approved the Christie Administration's request to extend RAP and 12 other health and service-related programs through 2017, using Social Services Block Grants (SSBG). Ten million dollars of SSBG funds will be transferred to RAP, according to information from the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS).

RAP supplements RREM and LMI-eligible homeowners paying rents while still paying mortgages during rebuilding.

The DHS-administered Recovery and Rebuilding Initiative for substance-abuse treatment access was also extended, along with the Displaced Homemaker and Children and Families Health Nursing Support programs administered by the state Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Also extended are the Blood Lead Screenings and Case Management and the Behavioral Screenings for Individuals and Families programs administered by the state Department of Health (DOH).

State officials said that more than 11,000 people have been tested for lead poisoning, including children under age 6, pregnant women and reconstruction workers in Superstorm-affected communities. More than 50,000 people have undergone behavioral health screenings, officials said.

The complete list of extended SSBG-funded programs:

  • Accessibility Repairs for Disabled Program
  • Assistance to Homeless Residents Program
  • Behavioral Screenings for Individuals and Families Program
  • Blood Lead Screenings and Case Management Program
  • Children and Family Health Nursing Support Program
  • Community Health Law Project
  • Displaced Homemakers Program; Legal Services of New Jersey Program
  • Mental Health Supportive Housing Vouchers
  • NJ Sandy Child and Family Health Study
  • Recovery and Rebuilding Initiative (Substance Abuse Treatment)
  • Rental Assistance Program
  • Senior Repair Grants Program.