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Spencer Statement on Sandy Hearing, Approaching One-Year Anniversary

(TRENTON) – Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee Chair L. Grace Spencer (D-Essex) released the following statement on Monday after hearing testimony from residents affected by Hurricane Sandy and advocates on the progress of recovery efforts in New Jersey:

“I greatly appreciate the Sandy residents, advocates and experts who have taken the time to attend the hearings in Atlantic City, Jersey City and, today, in Trenton.

“We are 332 days past the storm and rapidly approaching hurricane season. The hard reality is that many residents are no closer to returning to their homes today than they were last November. The Sandy rebuilding progress has stalled for many affected by the storm.

“Entangled in an insurance and mortgage company quagmire, residents continue to testify to the lack of professionalism and compassion these entities as well as the state has shown over the last year. The longer New Jersey residents are made to jump through hoops, battle bureaucracies and red tape, the longer it will be before New Jersey’s shoreline communities have a chance to rebuild.

“Commissioner Constable’s absence at this hearing only supports the emotional accounts of frustration and indifference we have heard from residents. There are questions of accountability and inefficiency in the grant program which have been raised that deserve answers.

“Residents of Sandy-affected communities deserve more progress not process; and more competence and compassion from the people who serve them.”