Nearly three dozen families remain homeless from their Belmar residences, displaced in temporary housing such as hotels, rental units or with families elsewhere, officials said this week.
Councilwoman Jennifer Nicolay reported this week that 35 Belmar families remained displaced from their primary home in the borough, due to the devastation their homes faced from Hurricane Sandy in October.
Now, five months after the storm, those families remain in need. However, the use of a borough-administered donation collection and distribution to families has come under criticism by Councilman Jim Beam for its lack of transperancy and possible conflict of interest.
Mayor Matt Doherty said those in need should not fear that their private matters would be made public, and encouraged further donations to the borough's Hurricane Sandy fund. The fund first distributed gift cards to displaced families and those without power for weeks, and has now moved to cash distributions from the fund.
The borough has a waiting list for the fund, Doherty said. It is overseen by the borough's social service staff.
At the close of 2012, Doherty said 55 families were displaced due to the storm. The storm surge uprooted most of Belmar's boardwalk and severely damaged homes and business near the ocean front. The flooding reached St. Rose school and Belmar's lakes were pumped in an attempt to quell water levels.