Ida survivors in New Jersey demand government release $200 million in housing assistance as many still struggle to rebuild – CBS Philly

MULLICA HILL, NJ (CBS) – Nine months after remnants of Ida caused tornadoes in South Jersey, you can still see some of the aftermath today. Almost a year later, some homeowners are still struggling to rebuild their lives.

Meanwhile, some of those homeowners are calling on the federal government to release long-awaited funds to help them rebuild. Survivors across the state say the federal government has allocated money, but they haven’t received it. They also say that money is not enough.

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A group of survivors gathered outside the State House in New Jersey on Wednesday afternoon, the same day the hurricane season began. Meghan Mertyris remembers surviving Super Storm Sandy and Tropical Storm Ida, but says there’s a third storm she’s still going through.

“Even worse is storm after storm, when the floodwaters have gone and you’re left alone to pick up the pieces,” Mertyris said.

So far, FEMA has approved about $225 million in housing assistance for people after Ida, but survivors say they are still waiting for that money and they argue the amount is not enough.

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Congressman Andy Kim supports the effort.

“What the people here standing with me are asking, they’re not asking for the moon,” Rep. Andy Kim said. “They are asking for fairness. They ask for dignity.

Shoulder to shoulder were Super Hurricane Sandy survivors like Paul Jeffrey. He says the federal government is ordering some of its neighbors to repay their relief money after the government claims they received too much.

“After we got through it,” Jeffrey said. “The best we can do is say, ‘Look before you take that SBA loan or before you do this or before you do that, ask these questions, ask these questions.'”

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Many tell Eyewitness News they fear what the future will look like and when, not if, the next storm will arrive.

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