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Housing Advocate Claims Sandy Recovery Grants Racially Biased

Controversial -- and contested -- findings indicate blacks more than twice as likely to be rejected than whites

Written by Tracey Samuelson, WHYY/Newsworks/NJ Spotlight

Black and Latino applicants for Sandy aid in New Jersey are more likely to be rejected for recovery grants than white applicants, according to data released Thursday by a New Jersey housing advocate.

The rejection rate for whites who applied for New Jersey’s two main grants for homeowners affected by Sandy was 13 to 14 percent. For Latinos, it was slightly higher – 18 to 20 percent; African Americans had the highest rejection rates at 35 to 38 percent.

“That is very concerning because we would hope that federal recovery money would be equally available to everyone who was impacted by the storm,” said Adam Gordon, a staff attorney with Fair Share Housing, which received this data as part of a lawsuit against that state seeking access to information about how Sandy grant money has been distributed.

The Christie administration strongly disagreed with the organization's findings.

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NJ Spotlight is an issue-driven news website that provides critical insight to New Jersey’s communities and businesses. It is non-partisan, independent, policy-centered and community-minded.


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