Feds forgive FEMA loans to Toms River, Berkeley, others hit by Superstorm Sandy

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TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) commends the federal government for its total forgiveness of FEMA Community Disaster Loans (CDL) awarded to local governments and boards of education in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Additionally, the Department thanks all the people who persistently worked for CDL relief, including State staff, local government representatives and stakeholders, and the New Jersey Congressional delegation.

As a result of the CDL loan cancellation, a total of $25.9 million in loan principal and interest that was held by 19 local government entities in New Jersey is now completely forgiven.

“We are pleased to see the federal government step up and do the right thing in cancelling the outstanding balance on these loans held by municipalities and school districts devastated by Sandy,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “The loan forgiveness will most certainly ease the financial burden of these communities and, by extension, their local property taxpayers at a time when governments at all levels continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic.”  

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The Division of Local Government Services within DCA helped administer the CDL program in New Jersey. Community Disaster Loans are provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to local governmental entities like municipalities and school boards that have experienced a significant loss in revenue due to a major disaster and, therefore, require financial assistance to maintain essential government functions. Local governments may draw down on the loans as needed to maintain solvency while cushioning taxpayers from property tax or utility rate increases. 

The CDL forgiveness was included in legislation passed by both houses of Congress that President Biden signed into law on September 30 to prevent a federal government shutdown. 

“The Governor and I thank all those who made this loan forgiveness possible. We appreciate the considerable – and determined – effort over several years that went into securing this relief,” Lt. Governor Oliver said.  

The local governments benefitting from the CDL loan cancellation include Atlantic Highlands Borough, Avon-by-the Sea Borough, Beach Haven Borough, Berkeley Township, Central Regional Board of Education, Highlands Borough, Keansburg Borough, Little Egg Harbor Township, Manasquan Board of Education, Manasquan Borough, Ocean Gate Board of Education, Point Pleasant Borough, Point Pleasant Beach Borough, Seaside Park Board of Education, Stafford Township, Toms River Township, Tuckerton Borough School District, Union Beach Borough, and Ventnor City.

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DCA offers a wide range of programs and services, including local government management and finance, affordable housing production, fire safety, building safety, community planning and development, and disaster recovery and mitigation.