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$1.8 billion in Sandy aid on its way to New Jersey

New Jersey will receive $1.8 billion to aid businesses, homeowners and municipalities in the areas most severely harmed by Hurricane Sandy as part of the first wave of a $50.5 billion federal disaster relief package, state delegates announced today.

"It's good news for New Jersey that the federal government is moving quickly to get Sandy funding out the door to help rebuild homes and businesses," U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park), a lead author of the Sandy relief legislation, said in a statement. "These federal funds will start getting New Jersey families and businesses back on track, and we will keep working with the (President Barack) Obama administration to ensure more federal resources flow into the state."

Obama signed the $50.5 billion emergency aid bill into law last week. It includes $16 billion in federal Community Development Block Grant money, which is intended to fund repairs not covered by FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration or insurance. That funding can be used for a number of purposes, such as rebuilding homes, supporting small businesses, buying out or elevating homes, restoring public properties and improving power utilities' infrastructure.

A total of $5.4 billion in CDBG funding was allocated today to states slammed by Sandy. New York will receive $3.5 billion, with about $1.8 billion going to New York City.

"This disaster recovery funding is an important step forward as New Jersey works to recover from Sandy," U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) said in a statement. "Many of our homes and businesses are badly in need of repairs or are, in some cases, completely destroyed. These funds will kick start the rebuilding of our communities and set us on a course to revitalize the Shore."

The state will now work with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to develop a plan to distribute its share of the funding.

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