Nearly $2B in Grants Available to Homeowners Hit by Sandy

Saturday, May 25, 2013  |  Updated 6:18 AM EDT
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Nearly $2B in Grants Available to Homeowners Hit by Sandy

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LONG BEACH ISLAND, NJ - OCTOBER Police Sgt. Ed Bernhard inspects homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy on October 31, 2012 in Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Earlier in the week Hurricane Sandy made landfall on New Jersey coastline bringing heavy winds and record floodwaters. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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New Jersey is now accepting applications from homeowners seeking grants to rebuild homes damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

The grants are part of $1.8 billion in the first round of federal aid sent to New Jersey to deal with costs not covered by insurance or other programs.

New Jersey's share of that funding is to total nearly $5.5 billion. While it's only a piece of the $60 billion in disaster aid Congress approved in two bills earlier this year, it's one where the governor has direct say.

Homeowners can get up to $150,000 to cover the costs of elevating or rebuilding primary homes.

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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said previously homeowners will not get checks but rather the state will pay contractors directly -- so long as the homeowners use approved firms.

They can also get up to $10,000 to stay in communities affected by the storm last year.

The applications are accepted starting Friday. To apply, you can visit www.renewjerseystronger.org or call 1-855-SANDYHM.

The application process began the same day Christie reopened the Jersey Shore from Seaside Heights, N.J.

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