New Jersey will receive over $82 million in federal grants through the COVID-19 emergency stimulus package, according to officials.
During a press conference April 2 in Hackensack, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker announced the funding would be the first wave of billions the Garden State will be made available under the $2 trillion package approved by Congress.
“The public health crisis facing New Jersey and our nation requires a coordinated response from all levels of government,” Booker said. “When fighting to ensure New Jersey receives the necessary federal resources, our priorities are protecting the brave medical workers fighting on the front lines of this pandemic, and standing up to help workers, families, small businesses, and the most vulnerable among us.”
“Today marks the next step down a long road of delivering federal funding to respond to this crisis, stimulate economic recovery, and strengthen our communities,” Booker said.
As of April 2, 25,590 confirmed coronavirus cases and 537 virus-related deaths in New Jersey. Nationally, there are more than 200,000 cases and the number of deaths has surpassed 5,000.
What’s Being Funded?
The money is being made available through three federal grant programs the senators said designed to give state and local governments flexibility to best address their most urgent needs, continue providing essential services for residents and help communities recover from the economic fallout caused by the aggressive social distancing measures needed to flatten the curve.
“We cut a whole lot of red tape in this bill so that local leaders can immediately put these dollars to work in the fight against COVID-19, whether it’s keeping our health departments fully staffed or retrofitting facilities for testing or providing grants to struggling businesses and nonprofits,” Menendez said.
Statewide, $53.5 million in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) were awarded to help towns fund expenses such as infrastructure, economic development projects, public facilities installation, community centers, housing rehabilitation, public services, code enforcement and homeowner assistance.
Grants Will Aid Ongoing Response Efforts
Another $26 million in Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) are being released to help with rental assistance, eviction prevention and anti-homelessness programs. Nearly $2 million in Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) grants are being allocated to help low-income New Jerseyans living with HIV/AIDS.
In a statement, Rep. Mikie Sherrill said, “Our counties and towns are working around the clock to provide support for our residents as we face the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19” and the grants will help local governments in their ongoing response efforts.
Rep. Bill Pascrell said the pandemic “is placing unbearable pressure upon the shoulders of all Americans, but especially our most vulnerable communities.”
“In times of disaster, we need an all-hands-on-deck approach, with our federal government stepping in for our seniors, impoverished families, homeless, and those with AIDS. These grants will provide vital assistance to our neediest neighbors,” he said in a statement.
Bergen To Receive Largest Funding Award
Bergen County, New Jersey’s hardest hit area by the coronavirus outbreak, is set to receive the greatest amount of funding this round—over $8.3 million.
With 3,494 cases and 75 deaths, County Executive Jim Tedesco said, “Bergen County is in a crisis and we need resources to protect our residents, first responders and health care professionals as we fight this dangerous virus.”
The funding, he said, will help the county provide Personal Protective Equipment and “other critical supplies for those on the front lines in this war.”
According to officials, Bergen County will receive about $5.6 million in Community Development Block Grants and $2.8 million in Emergency Solutions Grant funding.
Other Grant Recipients
In North Jersey, awards include:
- Essex County: CDBG: $3,218,062, ESG: $1,574,441
- Bloomfield: CDBG: $615,251
- East Orange: CDBG: $866,434
- Irvington: CDBG: $687,820
- Newark: CDBG: $4,310,416, ESG: $2,162,428, HOPWA: $842,513
- Hudson County: CDBG: $1,271,486, ESG: $602,817
- Bayonne: CDBG: $925,177
- Hoboken: CDBG: $641,319
- Jersey City:, CDBG: $3,438,019, ESG: $1,682,731, HOPWA: $347,820
- North Bergen: CDBG: $418,593
- Union City: CDBG: $622,932
- Morris County: CDBG: $1,595,421, ESG: $587,279
- Parsippany-Troy Hills: CDBG: $127,137
- Passaic County: CDBG: $537,434
- Clifton: CDBG: $673,595
- Passaic: CDBG: $801,051
- Paterson: CDBG: $1,502,258, ESG: $689,534, HOPWA: $255,594
- Wayne Township: CDBG: $115,614