And so the land grab begins.
Middletown has now suspended the issuance of permits required to make repairs to storm-damaged homes.
This is what happened in every other state after a disaster. The ones who can least afford it are tormented by with onerous regulations that prohibit them from rebuilding, and they are forced to sell out of desperation for pennies on the dollar as the large developers swoop in and begin the "rebirth" with multi-million dollar projects of high rise development that creates a wall blocking the view for all but the elite. And this is all done in the working man's "best interest".
Where is congressman Pallone, who has long championed himself as the savior of the shore? Why is he not standing up against these rules that force homelessness on our neighbors? This has happened in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida and now it is happening here in New Jersey.
I have been working with assemblyman Troy Singleton to formulate a bill that would require developers salivating over these depressed properties to pay a fair value based on pre-Sandy assessed value in order to merge lots for their highly profitable projects thereby allowing Sandy's victims a chance at a decent future.
I am pressing federal legislators to allow current owners to rebuild at their own risk, deed restricting them so that future owners will have to bring them into compliance with FEMA's perceived safety standards. I have seen far too much despair, elderly and working poor being forced into the streets or declared "squatters" for remaining in what was their long-time homes.
We in New Jersey must now lead the way in preserving the most basic need of our neighbors, shelter for their families. Our government, which nine weeks post-Sandy still allows elderly and children to go to bed hungry and cold, often in damp moldy homes. Our government, which has opened a few of the hundreds of units at Fort Monmouth and touts it as a great accomplishment clearly does not care about the working class that has historically occupied the Bayshore area. We need now band together to protect ourselves.
Call your state and federal legislators and demand that they act in the best interest of the people they supposedly represent.
Call Assemblyman Troy Singleton of the 7th District and tell him you support his efforts to cover their backs.