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Hurricane Sandy victims still waiting for Christie relief money

Hurricane Sandy victims are demanding to know "Where is the money?" after learning that most of the $32 million in Mary Pat Christie's relief fund is yet to be distributed.

Hurricane sandy victimEnlarge
A laborer removes debris from a home damaged by Superstorm Sandy on January 4, 2013 in the Midland Beach area of the Staten Island borough of New York City. More than two months after the storm, Congress passed legislation today that will provide $9.7 billion to cover insurance claims filed by people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Sandy. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) (John Moore/AFP/Getty Images)

The first lady of New Jersey and wife of Governor Chris Christie is yet to distribute the $32 million raised by her charity for victims of Hurricane Sandy, Newswork reported.

According to reports last week, the Mary Pat Christie Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, had not handed out any money despite it being four months since the disaster hit the Garden State, according to the Asbury Park Press.

Following the media coverage, the charity announced it had donated the first $1 million to agencies in Monmouth and Ocean counties, which is 3% of the total money raised. 

Gov Christie was quick to defend his wife, calling for patience and blaming the delay on her “methodical” approach and focus on long-term projects.

He said an additonal $5 million will be distributed in a few weeks, AP reported.

"I'm really proud of the job she's done and the professionalism she's brought to the job," he said last week, adding that the fund was never designed to be for "immediate relief".

"The fact that they're being careful with people's money is something that's laudable."

New Jersey's worst natural disaster killed 40 residents and left three-quarters of the state without power. The damage bill was estimated at $37 billion.

Meanwhile a poll of 702 reigstered voters in New Jersey found 58 percent believed victims should forfeit their aid if they don’t rebuild their homes to the recommendations of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, reported the Jersey Journal.

The PublicMind Poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University found that most people want property owners to be required to rebuild in a way that protects their homes against “significant weather events.” 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130319/hurricane-sandy-victims-still-waiting-relief-mon