New Jersey's 11th Legislative District

Senator Jennifer Beck

Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck’s “Superstorm Sandy Homeowners Protection Act” Clears Committee

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) to aid Superstorm Sandy survivors by extending the Consumer Fraud Act to homeowners enrolled in the RREM and LMI programs has cleared the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee. The bill would ensure that Sandy homeowners are treated fairly in the rebuilding process while providing recourse for homeowners who are victims of contractor fraud.

Sen. Jennifer Beck’s “Superstorm Sandy Homeowners Protection Act” passed the Senate Community & Urban Affairs Committee. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen)

“More than three years after Superstorm Sandy, there are 7,776 homeowners enrolled in the RREM program and 316 in the LMI program, and far too many are still struggling to rebuild,” Senator Beck said. “Sandy survivors shouldn’t have to navigate through endless red tape without adequate support, nor should they have to fear retribution from a fraudulent contractor. My bill will protect these homeowners, who have already suffered significant hardships in the wake of the storm, from being further victimized.”

 The “Superstorm Sandy Homeowners Protection Act” (S-532) narrowly extends the protections of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act to homeowners who have received a RREM or LMI grant. More specifically, the act allows the state to take action against contractors who violate the State Uniform Construction Code Act.

Due to a confidential reporting process established under the act, homeowners would no longer have to fear retribution from a builder. The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) must establish a confidential method for reporting complaints. The DCA and Project Managers would be required to forward these complaints to the proper authorities.

Under Senator Beck’s S-532, the DCA Commissioner may permanently debar the builder from construction work in New Jersey if the builder willfully commits fraud, completes work in a grossly negligent manner, or willfully violates the State Uniform Construction Code Act, despite a reasonable opportunity to correct.

“We have a responsibility to ensure Superstorm Sandy survivors in Monmouth County and throughout areas ravaged by the storm across the state are treated with dignity and respect throughout the recovery process,” Senator Beck added. “I applaud the Senate Committee for answering our call to action and bringing us one step closer to helping these residents finally return home.”

For additional details and information on the provisions of this act, click here.

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