Greenwald calls on DCA to Use Federal Grant Funds to Aid Beleaguered Atlantic County Residents

Request Follows U.S. Treasury Announcement of $45.3 Million in Hardest Hit Funds to New Jersey

Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald on Friday urged the NJ Department of Community Affairs to take advantage of a new federal aid allotment to assist residents in Atlantic County who have been among some of the hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis amidst a localized economic downturn.

Greenwald’s urging comes after the U.S. Department of Treasury announced on Thursday that it has allocated $45.3 million in federal aid to New Jersey as part of the Hardest Hit Fund, which is designed to assist states with the highest foreclosure rates after the 2010 housing market downturn, New Jersey being consistently at or near the top of foreclosure rates nationally. This aid allotment comes in addition to the $69.2 million that the state received earlier this year.

“Atlantic County has been devastated by job loss and the highest foreclosure rate in the nation,” said Majority Leader Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). “Atlantic City and its surrounding area have been uniquely impacted by recent closures of 4 casinos and should be given special consideration and priority.

“I am encouraging Commissioner Richman to target Atlantic County with this federal funding, to help aid in the recovery of Atlantic City. These funds should be used in a way that is not a band aid to a systemic problem in Atlantic County. Promoting long term sustainability of mortgages at rates that people can afford in this area provides real solutions to communities and neighborhoods trying to deal with abandoned properties.”

Hardest Hit Funds are to be used to assist communities that have been hit particularly hard by foreclosures. Atlantic County, which was greatly impacted by casino closures and market downturn, has over 4,000 vacant homes, with 17 percent of those homes underwater on their mortgage.