The federal government in two months has approved more than $200 million in aid for New Jersey residents and businesses affected by Hurricane Irene, officials said this week.
The bulk of the aid has come through the Housing Assistance program, which has approved $134 million for housing-related needs and repairs in the Garden State, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said. Through Oct. 26, FEMA also has authorized more than $57 million in low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
New Jersey became eligible for the assistance Aug. 31, when it received a disaster declaration from the federal government. The declaration came three days after Hurricane Irene and the subsequent flooding devastated many parts of the state.
Since then, the government has approved 43,816 registrations for federal assistance, or an average of 780 households per day, FEMA said Thursday in a news release. The agency announced earlier this week it was extending the deadline for aid to Nov. 30.
The SBA loans have been approved for nearly 1,400 households and businesses, with the average household receiving nearly $37,000, the news release said. FEMA also has approved more than $11,000 in aid through the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program, for victims whose work was interrupted by the hurricane.
“We’re confident that a significant number of those affected by this year’s disaster have taken the important first steps toward renewing lives and property,” William L. Vogel, federal coordinating officer for FEMA, said in a prepared statement.