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Senator: Speed of Sandy NJ rebuilding aid is OK

3-12-14

WASHINGTON (AP) — A New Jersey senator says state and federal officials must speed the way aid is getting to people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.

Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez says 12,000 people have gotten preliminary approval for aid under New Jersey’s largest federally funded home rebuilding program. But only 2,700 have been told they can begin construction — more than 16 months after the storm caused devastating damage along the East Coast.

At a hearing Wednesday of a Senate Banking subcommittee that he chairs, Menendez said part of the reason for delay seemed to be how New Jersey officials have run the application process.

Federal Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said New Jersey officials could change that application process without losing federal aid.