The Sandy Homeowner and Renter Assistance Program (SHRAP), is administered by the Monmouth County Division of Planning and Contracting, will fund up to $15,000 worth of eligible expenses for Sandy impacted households, like outstanding mortgage payments, utility bills, household items and more. Municipalities will apply then act like vendor management company.
Middletown Township and Atlantic Highlands were one of the first municipalities to apply for the program after applications were made available on Oct. 7. Funds are expected to be released as soon as the end of the year. The program ends in September 2015.
Municipalities interested in participating in the program have to submit a detailed application packet to the county by Oct. 30.
SHRAP is a “different animal” than other Sandy grant programs, as it will essentially require towns to act as vendors for the various services residents apply for. No money goes to the individuals or families. So how it would work is a resident would come in to the municipality and say ‘I can’t make my mortgage payment next month.’ The town would make the mortgage payment. Next month, they come back — same thing. As soon as you hit that $15,000, you’re done. That’s one possible scenario.”
County officials invited interested municipalities to participate in an informational session on the program in Freehold on Oct. 15, where specific eligibility requirements and other details were expected to be discussed.
Sounds pretty good right? Oh yeah Highlands isn’t on the list yet. I don’t see on the HIghlandsnj.com web site as a public notice and they aren’t on the County web site as a participating municipality.
All I can think of is Frank Nolan in his interview with John Schneider on Blog Radio “Honestly, I don’t feel overwhelmed since Sandy” and “I’m a Leader” – Frank.. a Leader would make sure Highlands was in the mix for all and any grants like these. As far as him not feeling overwhelmed since Sandy, the only thing that comes to mind is Monty Python and the Black Knight. No arms and legs and wanting the bite King Arthur’s knee caps off, “I’m invincible!” he shouts, King Arthur looks back at him and says “You’re a looney” Seriously how can anyone *not* feel overwhelmed, and if that’s true, is that whats preventing him to go after Grants because he thinks no one else is overwhelmed?
My other thought was Becky’s interview on Youtube – all smiles talking about “We don’t need a grant writer, we have a grant writer.” Then went on to talk about the procurement of the Fire Truck. Hmmm… Firetruck — or helping residents keep paying their mortgage, Firetruck — or helping residents keep paying their mortgage.. How the hell did Firetruck win if we had to choose which grant to go for?? And before you literal people comment that we got the fire truck before the grant came along, I understand it, but it shows why “we do need a grant writer” or at least someone who is going to read the memo’s and take the initiative to go after this stuff.
This kind of stuff has been happening since Sandy.. well it probably happened before Sandy, but since Sandy was such a crap sandwich, it just shined a spotlight on the priorities (or lack thereof) and ineptness of our current leadership. Of course the flip side is; ok we “got” the money, who will disperse the $15,000 allotment ? HBP, Hope for Highlands, tax assessor, Solution Center, Tim Hill? How do we ensure this money would not go to the inside select few who would obviously find ways to exhaust these funds quickly.