By David Madden
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey governor Chris Christie has rejected suggestions from some circles that race has played a part in handing out federal relief in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
The Fair Share Housing Center, after combing through data obtained in a lawsuit, contends that blacks and Latinos have been turned down for housing aid at rates far higher than whites: a third more often for Hispanics and more than twice as often for African-Americans, they say.
Christie rejected those numbers out of hand.
“There is no consideration of race or ethnicity in determining who gets any grants through Sandy relief, and it’s just another make-work report from a hack group that’s looking for attention,” the governor said today.
Christie suggested the numbers generated by the group were what he called “statistical anomalies” that do not reflect how housing relief programs have, in fact, been handled.
Kevin Walsh, assistant director at the Fair Share Housing Center, says the state has not refuted the validity of their statistics.
“The governor seems to be attempting to call names in an attempt to avoid addressing the facts,” he said.
And the head of the state NAACP, while not saying the disparity is a deliberate act, believes an investigation is in order.