Number of the Day: $1.8 billion

March 13, 2013 | Number of The Day

Gov. Chris Christie is planning to spend $600 million in federal disaster grants, up to $150,000 each, to help homeowners rebuild, rehabilitate, and elevate homes affected by superstorm Sandy. The plan also calls for $500 million to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Another $116 million will be awarded to local governments, and approximately $215 million will be spent on rental and affordable-housing programs.

This $1.8 billion is Christie’s plan for the first round of funding from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development department. The $600 million for homeowners is targeted at middle- and low-income homeowners in the nine counties most affected by Sandy.

The plan, which must be approved by HUD, also calls for $200 million in housing resettlement; $30 million in no-interest loans for developers to purchase foreclosed or abandoned properties; and $25 million in financial assistance for low- and moderate-income households to purchase property.

The $500 million for the EDA is primarily earmarked for small business grants of up to $50,000 for eligible businesses that sustained physical damage. The EDA is expected to offer no-interest loans to small businesses, as well as funding up to $10 million for communities to rebuild their commercial areas. The state also plans a $25 million tourism marketing campaign.