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NJ Community Affairs chief defends Sandy aid



TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s community affairs commissioner is defending the state’s efforts to help homeowners and renters affected by Superstorm Sandy.

At a hearing Wednesday in Trenton on the pace of Sandy relief aid, Richard Constable said New Jersey is working aggressively to get money to storm victims. He said nearly $900 million of the $1.8 billion the state received from Congress has been handed out.

Constable says some programs can pay people more quickly than others, and wishes the overall process could be faster. He spoke after some victims said they are still struggling to find a place to live, while others wait for money they fear may never come.

Bill Halbeisen says he’s ready to pitch a tent in the backyard of what used to be his Manahawkin home.