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The numbers were shared with HuffPost by someone familiar with the contents of the call, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to share the data, which has not yet been made public.

In December, the federal government approved emergency rent assistance funds. Jersey City Council voted to accept the $ 7.8 million in March, meaning the city government sat on the money for months before opening the bid process on August 17 – much later than programs in other places, including surrounding Hudson County and elsewhere. in New Jersey.

Fulop spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione said the city waited until August 17 to start its application process because it needed to make sure it “had the right technology and the right resources in place to manage the process and be compliant “- an explanation that does not. explain why the city was so far behind other places in the country.

To be clear, Jersey City isn’t alone in being slow. According to the latest Treasury Department data on emergency rental assistance funds, 89% of the $ 46.5 billion available to states, cities and counties had not been distributed until the end of July. At least 50 of those places hadn’t sent a single dime, according to a HuffPost analysis.

Wallace-Scalcione had previously said Jersey City authorities were focusing on small buildings operated by their owners because they wanted to ensure small owners got a change to get funds.

“We knew that if we opened up the program wide, some of the very large developers / owners who are more organized would deplete funds with their several hundred buildings,” she told HuffPost last week.

Yet the vast majority of applicants were denied funding anyway. Wallace-Scalcione said the program plan was still to start with small owner-operated buildings and then, in two-week increments, expand to larger buildings.

But more than a month after the city started its program, it still hasn’t expanded or reopened it. And if the program relaunches its application process in October, a key deadline will already have passed.

If state and local governments have not committed up to 65% of their funds by the end of September, the Treasury Department has the power to recover the money and redistribute it to places that have sent more funds. effectively.

Wallace-Scalcione said last week that the Fulop administration is confident it can meet the federal deadline.


The Huffington Gt