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Poll: Sandy victims not satisfied with state recovery efforts

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Damage from Hurricane Sandy.
Damage from Hurricane Sandy. - (AARON HOUSTON / NJBIZ)

A new Monmouth University Poll released Monday finds that the majority of New Jersey residents who have applied for aid under the state's federally-funded Superstorm Sandy assistance program are dissatisfied with recovery efforts.

According to the poll, 64 percent of New Jerseyans who have applied for aid under the "New Jersey Stronger" program are dissatisfied with the state's efforts, compared to just 36 percent who reported being satisfied. An additional 74 percent of applicants claim to feel "forgotten" in the recovery process.

When it comes to residents who are still displaced from their homes due to the storm, only 21 percent say they are satisfied and 84 percent claim to also feel forgotten in recovery efforts.

"Applicants for New Jersey's recovery assistance tend to be negative about the program so far, especially those who have not been able to get back into their homes more than a year after the storm hit," poll director Patrick Murray said.

The poll also found that 22 percent of applicants say they have either fully recovered from Sandy or expect to within the next several months. An additional 31 percent reported it will take one more year to recover and another 20 percent said they expect recovery to take two to three years. Only 13 percent said it would take longer than three years to recover and an additional 14 percent said they never expect to.

The majority of respondents said the program's sign-up process was relatively easy however, obtaining information after registering has proven to be a tall task. Just 37 percent reported that it has been easy recently to get needed information from the state compared to 55 percent who claim it has been difficult.

Murray said the poll numbers appear to represent a "great deal of confusion" surrounding the program.

"A review of responses from our survey panel suggests that applicants may have been provided information that has produced more confusion about the process rather than less," Murray said.

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Andrew George

Andrew George

Andrew George covers the Statehouse from NJBIZ's Trenton bureau. Born and raised in N.J., Andrew has also spent time as a reporter in D.C., Texas and Pa. His email is andrewg@njbiz.com and he is @AndrGeorge on Twitter.

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