Sandy Homeowner and Renter Assistance Program

Yesterday, Governor Christie announced the launch of the Sandy Homeowner and Renter Assistance Program (SHRAP), a temporary relief program to assist individuals and families experiencing a housing crisis resulting from Hurricane Sandy. Affected households could qualify for up to six months of payment vouchers (no more than $15,000 in total assistance) to cover select home appliances and current past due payments on rent, mortgages and/or utility bills. Payment vouchers will be offered only for subsidies, benefits, or services that have not been or will not be covered by FEMA, home insurance or other government grants and subsidies.

To be eligible for the program, an individual or family unit must:

  • Have a financial distress directly related to housing which is a direct result of Superstorm Sandy;
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible alien;
  • Not currently be receiving Work First New Jersey (WFNJ) benefits or be eligible for WFNJ/SSI Emergency Assistance; and
  • Be legally or blood-related. (If two unrelated families/individuals are sharing a home/apartment, each can apply separately.)

Other details are available by reading the official press release issued by the Governor’s office on October 22, 2013.

The state Department of Human Services has provided a list of SHRAP providers on their website. Applicants for SHRAP may apply in the county in which they are currently residing. For additional Sandy relief information visit

Senator Bernie Sanders Interview

“From the end of World War II until 1973, we saw an expanding middle class, with people’s incomes going up. Since that point, and especially since the Wall Street–driven financial crisis, you’ve seen a real collapse. Since 1999 median family income has gone down $5,000. Real unemployment, counting people who have given up looking for work or who are working part-time when they want to work full-time, is more than 14 percent.”

These are comments made by Senator Bernie Sanders (I – VT) in an interview with Playboy. Read more about him. He speaks the truth, in a manner unlike others in Washington.

Read more here:

The full interview by Jonathan Tasini appears in a Playboy interview.

There is also a short issue paper written by Ray Castro of New Jersey Policy Perspective last month that complements what Senator Sanders says in his interview. The NJPP article is titled Three Years Into Recover

y, Most New Jerseyans Still Left Behind. The middle class and the working poor are both in danger, in New Jersey and throughout the United States. Read this article and then ask our elected officials their plans for restoring the middle class.