PATERSON, NJ – More than $5.7 million in federal and state money will be used to buy out 33 flood-prone homes on the city’s north side, according to an announcement made Monday by Rep. Bill Pascrell.
The federal government will provide $4,322,338, while $1,440,779 will come from the state, officials said.
The funding comes in response to the historic flooding last summer that devastated neighborhoods near the river. In the worst hit areas, homes were damaged so bad that the residents never were able to return. The buildings have remained boarded up and empty for more than five months.
In addition to the 33 picked for buyouts, another nine Paterson homes have been identified as possible substitutes if anyone among the first 33 homeowners declines the government’s offer, officials said.
"This is the latest evidence that the federal government's commitment to helping local homeowners did not end with President Obama's visit last year," said Pascrell, one of the co-chairs of the Congressional Hurricane Irene Coalition, in a press release.
"These dollars will help Paterson residents relocate and resume their lives in a place without the flooding dangers that have become so frequent in recent years,’’ Pascrell added. “I am grateful for this assistance to our city, and I look forward to continuing to work with federal, state and local official to expand flood mitigation efforts here in the great City of Paterson."
Paterson Business Administrator Charles previously announced that the city expected to get about $5 million in buyout funding, but was not sure how many homes would be covered.
The City of Paterson intends to acquire and demolish 33 properties on the north side area, according to Pascrell’s press release. The project provides money for the acquisition of properties, liaison with homeowners, project management, demolition of structures and their foundations, removal of debris and restoration of the site for a potential park, according to Pascrell.