Shore Sandy impacted homeowners continue fight to recover and rebuild
This coming October 29 represents the 5-year anniversary of the devastating impacts caused by Superstorm Sandy for many shore residents, but in 2017 their long term recovery battle continues.
The Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group welcomes all those still recovering from the storm and looking to rebuild by holding workshops to help them regain all that they lost.
"We feel it is absolutely imperative for us to get out into the community because while we are assisting hundreds and hundreds of people, we know others out there are still struggling," said the groups Sue Marticek.
The group continues its efforts in aiding Sandy impacted homeowners rebuild by being in the trenches in their lingering financial and legal battles.
Marticek explains that due to the many underpayments these people receive from flood insurers, they needed to then turn to the state grant program.
"The majority of our cases of people that we are trying to get back home are people who have taken part in the state grant program," said Marticek.
She adds that those are the people with the best chance to receive the additional funds.
The Five-Stages of Post-Sandy Grief are well into the anger stage for many of these shore homeowners looking for the necessary funding to rebuild nearly four-and-a-half years following Sandy.
One of the major concerns exposed by homeowners in their trials, Marticek explains, is that of contractor fraud and disputes.
"Right now it is really a challenge," said Marticek. "There are so many contracts that are signed that are not properly written contracts."
She adds that it is imperative to keep constant communication with the state and the contractor to find a way to resolve these issues for the better.
The struggle and fight of these homeowners is discussed at workshops held by the OCLTRG and over the course of the next five months, ten more will be held.
Some of the non-profit organizations they had previously worked with are no longer present due to financial reasons.
"Unfortunately because of lack of funding many of our non-profit partners who started in this recovery are no longer around," said Marticek.
They received a sign of a possible turnaround in 2017 with a recent boost via a grant from the Robin Hood Foundation near the ladder stages of 2016.
"If it wasn't for the Robin Hood Foundation, we wouldn't be able to do these workshops," said Marticek.
The next workshop will be held tomorrow, February 15, at the Ocean County Library in Brick Township on 301 Chambers Bridge Road.
Others coming up will be posted on their website, Marticek adds in the coming days and weeks.
Contact Reporter Vin Ebenau at 848-221-8100 or at firstname.lastname@example.org