A grassroots Latino advocacy organization on Tuesday filed an official complaint accusing the Christie administration of not giving Spanish-speaking residents equal access to information and federal dollars when it comes to Sandy aid.
Citing U.S. Housing and Urban Development regulations governing $1.8 billion in Sandy relief money, the New Jersey-based Latino Action Network filed a complaint with state Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable charging that the state is not complying with its obligation to ensure “that recovery programs be equally accessible to persons who have limited English proficiency as to English proficient applicants.”
"The Christie administration is in direct conflict with federal law,” said the group’s president, Frank Argote-Freyre. “Governor Christie is responsible for violating the basic civil rights of thousands of New Jersey residents already struggling to rebuild.”
Specifically, Argote-Freyre charged in his written complaint that the state did not tell Spanish speakers they could appeal denial of funds from the major Sandy relief programs for home owners. For instance, the state’s English language website has a link to the appeals process, while the Spanish-language version does not.