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Hurricane Ida Programs for Renters and Homeowners

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is accepting applications for two housing assistance programs, one for renters and one for homeowners. There is also a Small Rental Repair Program for property owners with seven or fewer units. See Small Rental Repair Program for more information about that program. More programs will be launching later in 2023. To receive updates about those programs and other information, complete a Hurricane Ida Registration.

For Renters: Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program (TBRA)

TBRA is a 24-month rental subsidy program. The program does not pay back rent and cannot be combined with another rent subsidy. Some households can receive assistance with application fees and security deposit money. The pre-application deadline is June 1.

What if I didn’t lose my home or job because of the storm? Am I still eligible?

Yes. You do not have to be directly affected by the storm. You must submit proof that you lived in one of the 12 impacted counties in September 2021: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Passaic, Somerset, Union, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Morris, or Warren. You will also have to show, or self-certify, that you are:

  • Currently unhoused or at risk of becoming unhoused, as defined in 24 CFR 91.5. (which explains several circumstances of housing insecurity);
  • Still displaced from the storm, demonstrated by residing in a location different than where you resided at the time of the storm;
  • Residing in housing that is not safe, stable, and sanitary;
  • Residing in housing that is unaffordable to the household; or
  • Residing in housing that does not meet accessibility needs and/or accommodate a household member’s disability.

The assistance must be used within the 12 impacted counties.

Is there an income limit?

There is an income limit of 120% of Area Median Income (AMI), which is a percentage of the area’s average income. HUD calculates it. DCA will give first priority to “extremely low income” applicants who are below 30% of AMI, and second  priority to “very low income” and “low income” applicants who fall between 30% and 80% of AMI. These limits can be found at Income Limits (from HUDUser).

Not everyone in my household is a citizen. Should we apply?

Yes. At least one adult member of the household must be a citizen, or one of the following:

  • Legal Permanent Resident (admitted for lawful permanent residence (LPR));
  • Refugee (admitted to the United States under Section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA));
  • Asylee (person granted asylum under INA Section 208);
  • Person paroled into the United States (under INA Section 212(d)(5)) for a period of at least one year;
  • Person whose deportation is being withheld on the basis of prospective persecution (under INA Section 243(h) or Section 241(b)(3));
  • Person granted conditional entry pursuant to INA Section 203(a)(7) as in effect prior to April 1, 1980;
  • Cuban and Haitian entrant (as defined by P.L. 96-422);
  • Victim of human trafficking as defined by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act of 2000; or
  • Person who meets the definition of having been “battered” under 8 U.S. Code Section 1641.C

The housing assistance will be prorated for the eligible members of the household.

How can I apply?

Households will be notified by June 15, 2023, of their eligibility status to complete the full application.

More Information

You can find more information about the program on DCA’s Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program (TBRA) webpage. In particular, under “More Information” on that page, please review the “TBRA Program Policy,” which explains detailed eligibility requirements, program administration, and the appeals process for any denied applicants or terminated recipients.

For Homeowners: Home Repair Grant Assistance for Homeowners impacted by Hurricane Ida

Homeowners impacted by Hurricane Ida may qualify for home repair grants and temporary rental assistance through the DCA Homeowner Assistance and Recovery Program (HARP). The HARP application deadline is May 1, 2023. Homeowners can apply online through Disaster Recovery and Mitigation or request phone application assistance by calling (609) 292-3750.

Applying for HARP and Eligibility

To be eligible for HARP, you must:

  • Be a homeowner whose primary residence is in Bergen, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Union, or Warren County. These are the specific disaster-declared counties that were eligible for FEMA Individual Assistance in connection with New Jersey Remnants of Hurricane Ida (4614-DR-NJ).Have owned and occupied the damaged property as your primary residence at the time of Hurricane Ida.
  • Have an annual household income not exceeding $250,000.

Application Priority Groups

Households with the following characteristics will receive priority consideration:

  • 62 years of age or older;
  • Household member living with a disability;
  • Low-to-moderate-income with annual gross income below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for the county. (The 80% AMI is calculated at the time of application for HARP assistance. More information about county AMI is available on page 63 in the HARP Program Policy (from the DCA).

Property Types

The home must be a single-family home, duplex, triplex, townhome, modular home, manufactured home, or condominium. The home must have sustained at least one foot of flooding in the first floor living space or $8,000 in damages from Hurricane Ida as determined by FEMA or a third-party damage assessment.

If the property is a duplex or triplex, the applicant must have owned and occupied one of the units as a primary residence at the time of Hurricane Ida.

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirement for certain properties

If the property was in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), and if the household income is higher than 120% AMI or previously received CDBG-DR funds, then the property must have had NFIP coverage at the time of Hurricane Ida.

HARP Grant Assistance

How much money is available?

Eligible single-unit homes may receive up to $300,000 in HARP grant assistance. The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) will consider exceptions to this maximum amount when necessary.

DCA will consider an additional $50,000 per unit in duplexes and triplexes. Duplexes may receive up to $350,000 and triplexes may receive up to $400,000.

What if I am getting help from other sources?

You will be required to report all available assistance for repairs, including flood and homeowner’s insurance, loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA), and any other government or private nonprofit assistance. DCA uses this information to determine any Duplication of Benefits (DOB) when calculating the grant award amount.

What if I need to be reimbursed for expenses?

You must have an unmet need in order to qualify for HARP assistance. HARP will not reimburse pre-award costs. However, HARP will consider pre-award activities when reviewing your DOB calculation. Certain costs may be eligible to reduce the impact of DOB funds.

Housing Rental Assistance

Eligible HARP homeowners may also qualify for temporary Housing Rental Assistance (HRA). HRA is available if you are required to move out (“vacate”) your home while the house is being repaired, reconstructed, or elevated.

HRA may continue for up to 24 months and does not have to be consecutive. DCA will consider rental assistance up to maximum amounts: $1,445 for a one-bedroom, $1,754 for a two-bedroom, and $2,170 for a three-bedroom. Available assistance will depend on the number of household members in the damaged property. HRA is not included in the HARP award cap for repair costs.

HRA is not available for past due or previously paid rent, security deposits, or other fees not associated with rent. Grantees will need to submit an electronic certification for continued HRA on a monthly basis.