And all I got was a Lousy T-Shirt

ImageWhen navigating the sandy grant process, has me wondering, “who the heck qualifies for this stuff?’

Per the Tom’s River Patch: “On average, a family of four would have to make less than $68,000 per year to qualify for the RREM, said Richard E. Constable, commissioner of the state Department of Community Affairs in a media conference call .”  The median income for Highlands is approx $79,000 according to the 2010 Census. The average household size was 1.91 and the average family size was 2.70

Even with the Robin Hood Foundation, candidates must meet the low to moderate income levels of $52,900 for a household of 2.

Of the total 2800 households, 1100 were occupied by renters.  So 45% of the total households in Highlands don’t qualify for any of the grant money because they were ‘income properties.’ Of the total number of households whose median income is $79,000,  the 1/2 that earns under $79,000, do you think they were the “home owners” or the “renters”?

So let’s do a little math, 2800 total households, 50% of those earn more than $79000, so the pool drops to 1400, if we apply the percentage of renters to that number we are now down to 630 households. From there, remember of the 50% of the people that earn less than $79,000, you still need to earn less than (approx) $53k.  So the pool of people earning from $53k – $79k in 2 ppl households are eliminated, so let’s just say 1/3.  So the number would drop to 420. Then think the RREM money isn’t “just for Highlands” you are completing against EVERYONE in the state under the same circumstances and there are ONLY 6000 households total.  That would probably cut the chances even further to about 150.  So that means you have a little over 5% chance of qualifying.


  1. Well first off…I can barely afford one house so it’s hard for me to sympathize with people who actually own more than one….

    Secondly, what’s the difference between the average “household size” and the average “family size.”

    And the median household income is $79,000? I guess that’s true if you include those “Hill People” who never see anything in Highlands beyond the ferry dock!

    If this math is correct (And heaven knows I didn’t think math would be required) then we should all be glad at least we had flood insurance!


    • a) try
      b) Household size can consist of single, couples or families, Families include couples with children, single parent households with children, if the household does have kids the family size is 2.7, meaning one parent and 1.7 kids or a couple and .7 kids, that being said may of the households are singles or DINKs so the average household size is 1.91 even with the families.
      c) It does include “hill people” but you would be surprised on the professionals that live downtown too. There are more houses down town than on the hill.
      d) flood insurance doesn’t pay enough.. average person in NJ received $38k. I’m glad you made out ok, a lot of people didn’t


    • My household consists of two people and I assure you we do not make $79,000 a year.

      Professional live downtown? Go on! Most of the houses on my block were (as far as I’m concerned) Vacant/Second Homes BEFORE Sandy.

      I met some couple a few weeks ago who said, “Hi – Are you one of our neighbors?” “Yes,” I replied, “for the past FOUR years!” This was the first time I ever met them.


    • Its not impossible, its like playing the lottery when its over 400 million dollars, you do it because you can’t win by not being in it but its not likely you’ll win. The state ones do have 30% allocated to ppl that earn less than 250,000 but its really geared towards lower income/mod income people who aren’t really home owners. But maybe once there are a few pass threws and no one qualifies they’ll loosen up the requirements.


    • HB,
      I’m sure that will be the case…so many 2nd homes that were destroyed who do not qualify. And they make way more than 250K. First past for elderly i’m sure.


    • Hey Katie,
      I left this info for you on earlier blog post but not sure you saw.
      I met a gentleman \from the Foundation To Save The Jersey Shore who has volunteers to help people with inside construction.
      His name is Brian Boms cell 732 233 7703 e-mail- You should reach out.


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