The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) today announced grants to four legal aid organizations in New York and New Jersey to provide mobile resources, technology, pro bono assistance, and other services to help victims of Hurricane Sandy address civil legal issues resulting from the superstorm.
Funding for the grants is part of the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. The legislation’s nearly $51 billion to help victims of Hurricane Sandy included $1 million for LSC to provide assistance to low-income people in areas significantly affected by Hurricane Sandy. Sequestration reduced LSC’s appropriation to $950,000.
The grants are:
|Legal Services of New York City||$436,018|
|Northeast New Jersey Legal Services||$107,338|
|Ocean-Monmouth Legal Services||$179,385|
|South Jersey Legal Services||$151,300|
The balance of the funding remains available for distribution in the future.
“These grants will fund much-needed legal services for low-income families, seniors, veterans and others harmed by Hurricane Sandy,” said LSC President Jim Sandman. “We are grateful that Congress recognized the legal needs that can arise from such disasters and included this funding in its supplemental appropriation.”
LSC’s inclusion in the Congressional response to Hurricane Sandy marked the first time since 1993 that a supplemental appropriations bill has included funding for LSC after a disaster.
Members of the New Jersey and New York delegations applauded the grants:
Sen. Robert Menendez (N.J.) - “I’m pleased that these New Jersey legal services organizations are receiving federal funding to help residents from across our state recover from Superstorm Sandy. No family should be denied the help they need to rebuild because of how much money they make which is why this funding is so important.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) - “As New York homeowners, businesses, and families devastated by Superstorm Sandy continue to rebuild their lives, we must ensure that our Sandy-impacted communities have the tools to navigate the disaster recovery process. This award will help New Yorkers seek the legal assistance and services they need to recover and rebuild better.”
Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (N.J.) - “When Superstorm Sandy hit Monmouth County a year ago this month, it uprooted lives, destroyed properties, and created many new legal issues for residents impacted by the storm. Ocean-Monmouth Legal Services gives residents in need of counsel a place to turn, and I’m pleased that this grant will help Sandy victims get further down the road to a full recovery.”
Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr., (N.J.) - “I am so pleased that Northeast New Jersey Legal Services will receive this much needed grant funding to expand its good work in providing legal assistance to individuals and families devastated by Hurricane Sandy. We are approaching the one-year anniversary of this terrible storm, and still too many people are struggling to recover. This funding will help ensure that people in my district who have been displaced or have become homeless get the FEMA benefits and the temporary housing their families need to survive. Thank you Northeast New Jersey Legal Services for continuing to do tremendous work in helping the most vulnerable among us.”
Rep. José Serrano (N.Y.) - “I’m very pleased that LSC is able to support the vital work that Legal Services NYC is carrying out to help people still struggling with the effects of Hurricane Sandy. People often forget the increased need for legal representation and advice in the wake of a natural disaster. That is why we in Congress included funding in the Sandy supplemental to help fill the gaps that occur and to address the numerous legal issues raised by the storm. I look forward to hearing success stories from the work funded by this grant.”
Rep. Michael Grimm (N.Y.) - “As a lead advocate to secure federal Sandy relief funds, I am thrilled to see that funding continues to flow into NYC for recovery efforts,” said Rep. Grimm. “This grant will help provide aid to those in low-income communities who simply cannot afford the legal services needed for recovery. Legal Services NYC is another entity contributing to Sandy recovery efforts, and I encourage all who are eligible and in need of counsel to contact them for assistance.”
Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.) - "I'm pleased that Legal Services NYC will receive funding to enable them to continue their valuable work assisting victims of Hurricane Sandy. They've done excellent work advocating on behalf of New Yorkers who need assistance in the wake of this devastating storm, and I am encouraged knowing that this work will continue."
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) - “I applaud Legal Services NYC for their dedication in assisting New Yorkers to recover in the months since Superstorm Sandy. The $436, 018 grant will benefit the organization in continuing its work throughout New York City. New York’s 8th Congressional District is thankful for the support that has been provided and I look forward to the progress that will result from this much-needed grant.”
Rep. Charles Rangel (N.Y.) - "A little less than a year ago, Hurricane Sandy tore through our district and challenged our neighborhoods in unimaginable ways. Together, we have worked tirelessly to rebuild our homes, our businesses, and our lives. Legal Services NYC recently received over $400,000 in grant money to assist Sandy victims and their families in recovery efforts and to sponsor volunteers to ensure the program reaches as many victims as possible. I applaud the Legal Services Corporation for their generosity and dedication to our community."
Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (N.Y.) - “Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc across New York City, and the recovery continues to pose confusion for those trying to rebuild homes, businesses, and livelihoods. This award to Legal Services NYC will provide important services for those navigating flood and homeowners’ insurance claims, or other forms of federal and state disaster assistance.”