New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says the Garden State’s disaster recovery plan has been approved by the federal government.

Governor Christie with U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan (R) at press conference in Highlands announcing release of federal funds (Dino Flammia, Townsquare Media NJ)

Over $1.8 billion will be handed out through the community development block grant program. Christie says the money will start going out the door very quickly.

“Here’s how, in broad swipes it’s going to be spent,” explained the Governor in a telephone interview this morning. “The overwhelming majority of it is going to be spent on homeowner grant programs to get homeowners back in their homes as quickly as possible. The emphasis here is; it’s all grants. These are not loans people are going to have to pay back.”

Christie is announcing the approval during an press conference in Highlands today.

The next largest portion of the aid will be spent on business grants says the Governor. Eligible businesses will get working capital to get their businesses reopened or to help them if they have real financial struggles based on Sandy-related damage. Christie says that’ll help our shore businesses get back up and running.

Renters will also be helped significantly and $25 million has been set aside for an advertising and marketing campaign to make sure people know the Jersey Shore is open and ready for business.

“We still have tens of thousands of people out of their homes and so we have a lot of work to do to get people back into their homes,” says Christie. “We knew this would be the longest part of the recovery and so I’m looking forward to this summer hearing the sounds of nail guns all across New Jersey rebuilding homes, elevating homes and getting our state back to normalcy so that folks this fall can begin to get back into their homes that they lost or were severely damaged October 29 of 2012.”

Governor Christie on MSNBC's Morning Joe on the six month anniversary of Sandy (MSNBC)

The relief money will be doled very quickly, but the Governor reminds us that this is a federal program so you’re still going to need all of your paperwork filled out to prove your losses, but once that’s done you can expect help soon thereafter.

“By Wednesday of this week businesses can begin to apply and about 2-3 weeks after that homeowners and renters will be able to apply,” explains Christie. “Before Memorial Day everybody will have ability to apply and then we’re going to start getting the money out the door very quickly. In fact, on the business side, we can have money out the door as quickly as 10-14 days from now.”