Skip to content

Talk About A Silver Lining!

You may have noticed a few comments about the house that ‘Home by Summer” built for the Keefe family.  When the initiative was announced early this year we were under the impression that the money was being raised so the families could replace what was lost in the storm.  Here is what the Keefes lost:

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 3.06.43 PM

And here is Home by Summer’s “replacement”:


The new house fills almost the entire lot.  (Wouldn’t they have needed a variance to build that thing?)  And where did they get the money?  Did the Keefes  contribute anything at all?  Are they going to have a mortgage?

I thought Home by Summer didn’t even reach their target of $100,000 for each family.  From the look of that house…and I heard it’s something like 2800 square feet with central air and a 2nd floor washer/dryer….and considering that Belmar arranged its construction, it had to be at least $2 or $3 million to build.


  1. WOW wrote:

    I am sure that this family appreciates the $4250 taken from tourism (according to your April 22,2015 article.)

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 7:42 am | Permalink
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    And what about the tax implications ? My guess is that you can not just “gift” someone all the money and materials to build a new house. Someone has to pay the taxes on all this stuff.

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 8:03 am | Permalink
  3. Irisheyes wrote:

    Thank you so much Dave for posting something about HBS, You are asking questions we all are wondering You know rumors circulate around town and this is hear say but a lot of us are questioning also does she have a mortgage? some people are saying she is actually in arrears by over 40.000 going around trying to find an institution to give her loan, and some say her mother paid the house off for 133.000 in November. We are also wondering what was given in donation money towards the and what was simply donated. As some of us have been keeping track as far as I understand the roof and siding donated. The entire kitchen donated. the hard wood floors donated. Sheetrock donated. Paint donated. and from what I understand the roofing was done by a family friend for free. So what was actually paid for by donations.It is being said from Neihbors who toured the house there is three fireplaces,one being a Stone hearth fire place in the living room ,did donations pay for that and one being in Ms. Keefe’s bedroom ,we should all have such luxury,5 bathrooms 1 being Ms. Keefe’s personal bathroom the size of a bedroom with all top of the line hardware separate sink and tub ,double sink and with all the bells and whistles a second floor Laundry room the size of a bedroom, A full utility/mechanics room with its own bathroom. And a beautiful front door which is rumored to have cost over 4.000 dollars which makes me think of that 4250.00 purchase order to hbs that we were unclear on of where it actually went, The list goes on. I feel the people of Belmar and anywhere else who came out of their pockets to make donations of any sort have the right to know exactly what was spent, what was given, and with a breakdown of where everything went. Thank you for bringing this to light Dave. Maybe now we might get some answers to some of the questions we have all been asking. I am all about helping anyone in need if it is need , but again I feel like these people saw an opportunity and jumped on the gravy train and what’s sad is she threw her kids into in the process to win our hearts over, had she taken what they were originally going to rebuild for her, her poor children would have been home a long time ago. Shame on her and shame on the Mayor and anyone who took part in this Fiasco that might I add looks unfinished a month and a half after deadline of June 1st.

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 8:09 am | Permalink
  4. admin wrote:

    #3, are you sure about all of that? The house doesn’t look big enough to have all that stuff in it.

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 8:24 am | Permalink
  5. Guest wrote:

    This is blatantly illegal, my neighbor took a second mortgage for $90,000. I also borrowed money just to replace what I had, did not even have enough to raise my air conditioner outside. Why were only two families hand selected to be helped. You cannot profit from a charity.

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 9:18 am | Permalink
  6. admin wrote:

    I’m not sure what would be illegal here. Certainly a charity recipient can profit from a charity, that’s the whole idea of charity. It certainly does seem unfair, though, that with so much hardship that was endured by so many good people in Belmar, that all this generosity was directed…by the government…at only two families.

    BTW, I hope the house was built using only firms that participate in Department of Labor-approved union apprenticeship programs.

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 9:36 am | Permalink
  7. OLD MAN wrote:

    Ok I’m on my way to the store for more aspirins When I come back I will read more.

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 9:43 am | Permalink
  8. elemental wrote:

    Well, well, well…the mayor claimed last summer that he did not want to use his kids in politics or have them mentioned. He gave credit to one of his daughters for the idea of this fundraiser. This matter looks shady to me, not his kid’s fault by any means, but, really, mayor, keep your kids out of politics, even if it makes a cute story.

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 11:07 am | Permalink
  9. Guest wrote:

    You must report to FEMA all funding received on your losses from all sources. Charitable donations are not exempt. FEMA will determine any duplicate funding. FEMA is not here to enhance your lifestyle, they replace necessities to allow you to live in your home. Not to rebuild and upgrade to a completely elevated lifestyle. Donations by companies are gifts and must be reported on your income tax. It is illegal to profit from insurance or other government benefit for losses. For some reason someone, the mayor, is filtering too much money and gifts to both of these politically connected families. There should never have been only two families selected for a charity drive associated with St. Vincent de Paul. Charitable organizations cannot direct specific funds to individual parties. That is why suspiciously non cash donations are now being given directly to the family by private companies. That is also why you are not hearing anymore discussion by the mayor on how much money has been raised from this fundraising effort he initiated.

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink
  10. elemental wrote:

    #9 It profits the mayor to keep his mouth shut now. Maybe it is all a bad dream, if we close our eyes it will go away…

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 11:33 am | Permalink
  11. Anonymous wrote:

    #10 Elemental, one day the mayor will wake up open the front door to find out the entire town MOVED!!! O my no one to rule!!

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 11:45 am | Permalink
  12. Anonymous wrote:

    This is only one of the homes. What about the other ? This whole thing may be x 2 !

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink
  13. Resident wrote:

    How did they come up with those 2families being the last displaced in Belmar? All the houses surrounding the one on 14th are still rotting away. Does the financial disaster not count if you are not a full time resident? The house on the left was to be the retirement home of the owners.

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 1:24 pm | Permalink
  14. Irisheyes wrote:

    #4 Dear Admin…Again It is just hear say ,but there is so much talk around town about this woman and her house. As far as what I stated about the house earlier, Ms. Keefe supposedly was showing the house to some neighbors whom have shared with some of us the conversation that took place and the layout of the house saying that it was beautiful. Having said that ,It was stated that the house is technically 2 1/2 levels and half basement.
    First level: has a foyer, living room with huge Stone fireplace, dining room, an office, bathroom, kitchen and mechanics/storage room with bathroom.
    2nd level: master bedroom with master bathroom with fireplace. walk in closets through out,2 more bedrooms ,1 more bathroom, laundry room with two linen closets.
    Top level: bedroom,extra room that can be bedroom or hang out room and bathroom. It was also mentioned in conversation jokingly, how are you going to keep this huge house clean and her reply was ,I’m not going to clean it,I’m going to have a cleaning service. Are we going to donate that also?

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 2:09 pm | Permalink
  15. Ms. Sarcastic wrote:

    Imagine if you are a Union member and contribute to the Democratic Circus what kind of dream home you can get, wow .

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 3:17 pm | Permalink
  16. admin wrote:

    I have learned is no mortgage on the property. It is owned outright by Keefe’s mother, Isabella Roberts.

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 3:33 pm | Permalink
  17. Irisheyes wrote:

    Wow, Help me understand how a single mother claiming to have nothing more than a part time job as a medical receptionist taking care of a sickly mother and a disabled brother, claiming that they are broke and have nothing can pay off a mortgage. I think the deeper we look into this the more we are going to realize there is wrong doing all the way around.

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 3:43 pm | Permalink
  18. admin wrote:

    There is no mortgage

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 4:04 pm | Permalink
  19. An Observation wrote:

    #17 Irisheyes, Its nothing more than PR!!! To divert attention from the other issues. I checked and no of no other town in NJ that was directly responsible for getting someone a home.In NYC the 2 cops that were killed sitting in their police car, the 2 mortgages and upgrades were from a PRIVATE non profit organization not a political or city organization.

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 4:58 pm | Permalink
  20. Anonymous wrote:

    Not all was replaced. They were able to save the tree on the front lawn !

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Permalink
  21. Ms. Sarcstic wrote:

    How did i miss that. Look at the before picture, small house, look at the after picture big house. Look at the picture of the old Taylor Pavilion small and the drawings were for say it everyone a BIGGER PAVILION. Some things never change.

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 5:38 pm | Permalink
  22. Guest wrote:

    If the owner Isabella Roberts lived in the home as her primary residence than she is entitled to FEMA reimbursements. If she lived elsewhere there is a problem. If relatives lived there as their primary residence they would only be entitled to FEMA reimbursement as a tenant which provides very little funding.

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 6:49 pm | Permalink
  23. Irisheyes wrote:

    Yes exactly Guest, Isabella Roberts is who reimbursements were made out to so they get the maximum, but again than I question if she is the owner and she is who is receiving the grants and funding in her name ,than why was the fundraiser set up in Teresa Keefe’s name

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 7:20 pm | Permalink
  24. Eugene Creamer wrote:

    flip that house!

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 10:39 pm | Permalink
  25. radar watcher wrote:

    is this under the radar or is there oversight? It will leave a very bad taste in donors mouths if there was Panky without no hanky.

    Friday, July 24, 2015 at 10:43 pm | Permalink
  26. Irisheyes wrote:

    I feel that every person who donated ,whether it be monetarily, materials, time and work put in, gift cards, whatever has the right to know what been going on with the HBS fundraiser. There are big, big holes in this story and from what I can see,possibly a lot of dis honest maybe even illegal stuff going on. we need to bring attention to this matter now . something needs to be done or It is just another thing the Mayor gets away with, not to mention there are individuals playing on the kindness and generosity of the good people of Belmar to improve their quality of life and help them achieve something that they didn’t have to work for. why should others still not in their home not share the monies raised or fundraise for them, after all these people actually worked and worked very hard for their homes.

    Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 9:21 am | Permalink
  27. Irisheyes wrote:

    #26 EUGENE CREAMER,I say flip that house and give the people their donations back and take what’s left and build what was there before.

    Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 9:49 am | Permalink
  28. lucky duck wrote:

    That $500. donation from the Home by Summer recipient to the political party should be repaid to the donors via St. Vincent de Paul Society.

    Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 10:21 am | Permalink
  29. admin wrote:

    According to the mayor there are no other residents that haven’t been able to move home .

    Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 10:26 am | Permalink
  30. Tulip wrote:

    Well if the mayor said it, it must be true. He would never lie would he?

    Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 12:04 pm | Permalink
  31. JUST CALL wrote:

    This sounds like an issue the State Comptrollers Office, Department of Community Affairs or the Monmouth County Sandy Fraud Taskforce should be made aware of.

    The State Comptrollers hotline is 1-855-672-8477.

    DCA Sandy Recovery Division contact info is (609) 633-1328

    Monmouth County Sandy Fraud Taskforce contact info 1-855-726-3939.

    Monday, July 27, 2015 at 11:27 am | Permalink
  32. Irisheyes wrote:

    #31JUST CALL,to be very honest, I know of 2 individuals who did make the calls to Monmouth County Sandy Fraud and DCA, they both asked to remain anonymous due to fear of retaliation from the Mayor of some sort and though they both had good information, they were both told without having concrete proof of any of it, they would not investigate because there has been to many false accusations made towards individuals with Sandy Fraud. We need someone with some sort of influence who they are going to listen to make that call. If we cant get someone higher up to take notice or look into whole HBS mess, Its going to be forgotten and brushed under the rug

    Monday, July 27, 2015 at 12:57 pm | Permalink
  33. admin wrote:

    I still don’t see any kind of obvious fraud here.

    Monday, July 27, 2015 at 1:05 pm | Permalink
  34. Irisheyes wrote:

    Is there a way to request some sort of audit of some sort of the Home By Summer Campaign. I thought legally every bit of money and donation has to be accounted for.

    Monday, July 27, 2015 at 1:36 pm | Permalink
  35. admin wrote:

    I suppose you could OPRA their books.

    Monday, July 27, 2015 at 1:57 pm | Permalink
  36. callmecynical wrote:

    What I surmise is that the parties who administered the donations may not have investigated the recipients regarding their actual need for assistance. That would be neglectful and irresponsible, possibly even serving some hidden agenda, like a quid pro quo arrangement (not implicating the St. Vincent DePaul Society). If people have hidden their assets in order to receive money, that is something else.

    Monday, July 27, 2015 at 1:40 pm | Permalink
  37. admin wrote:

    Actually the folks down at borough hall know both recipients very well. That may be what the problem here is.

    Monday, July 27, 2015 at 1:56 pm | Permalink
  38. Tulip wrote:

    Someone should be looking at the bank taxes gas and electric all of the senior perks health medical dental vision food
    there is one that income has to be lower than 70,000.00 to qualify. A healthy balance gives you nothing.
    A mistake was made somewhere someone will find it. I feel sorry for the mother who was trying to help her daughter and grand-
    Unless someone sweeps it under the rug someone is in trouble. The old saying you get what you pay for is here somewhere.

    Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 7:55 pm | Permalink
  39. Irisheyes wrote:

    #39 Don’t feel to bad, she’s benefitting from it as well.

    Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 9:59 pm | Permalink
  40. Sunflower wrote:

    I don’t understand why people have to put these families down! They were chosen for a good reason! What that being said she a single mommy raising 3 kids on her own with the only help from her mother and brother. Think about all the expenses that came out of her pocket as for the traveling back and forth to take the kids to school. It’s not about the adults it’s about the children unless you walked a day in these families shoes then I expect everyone to just be happy for these families. I personally have donated funds and I don’t believe these families took from us or taking advantage all they wanted was a home something that we have above our heads something that some of us didn’t lose thru the storm!
    I don’t understand why we live in such a cruel world! Why do people have to bash one another instead of helping out! I seen for myself all the memories that got washed away stuff we have of our children as far as pictures, 1st stuff animal, christening outfits most of us have that and can pass that down to our kids. These people lost everything only left what the clothes they had on there backs! It’s a disgrace to read some of these posts people write for there own entertainment! I’m sure if you went thru what they went thru and they were gonna build a brand new house for you I’m sure you wouldn’t say no! The mayor did the right thing in this town as along with the others that help make this happen for these 2 families! With that being said as a community we should be there for one another actions speak louder than words. Be realistic people! I’m extremely very happy for these 2 families and I hope they do a cutting the ribbon or something for these families when there able to turn the key to there house for the first time.

    Friday, July 31, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink
  41. admin wrote:

    If I’m not mistaken, Keefe’s ex-husband is paying child support.

    Friday, July 31, 2015 at 10:15 am | Permalink
  42. South Side wrote:

    Dear #40 SUNFLOWER –
    Were you, by any chance, given any Kool-Aid?

    Saturday, August 1, 2015 at 11:05 am | Permalink
  43. nodee nyall wrote:

    I wonder if ingestion of massive amounts of sunflower seeds has a hallucinogenic effect. The only altered state for this town is one minus Mayor Doherty and his pawns, replaced with fiscally wise and responsible people who do not mind answering truthfully questions from the residents, not slicksters finding any way to go around the rules.

    Saturday, August 1, 2015 at 12:13 pm | Permalink
  44. Happylife wrote:

    Why can’t you all just be happy for this family?! This family has been through hell! She is a single mother of 3 and has a mother and brother that are disabled. All this negative information is wrong so get your facts straight. This town is a family let’s be a family and stop being so negative.

    Saturday, September 5, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Permalink
  45. IRISH KING wrote:

    HAPPYLIFE….maybe you should get your facts straight!1.This family has not been through hell,they are living better in the brothers town home then they ever did in that house and they are a lot better off now with all the money and donations they have been living off of for almost 3 years now!2.Im am sick and tired of hearing people say how she is taking care of her disabled mother and brother, and how that it the reason she is building extra bedrooms and a bigger house. First of all the house is he mothers, she and her children live with her mother and have for many years now. Her mother is not disabled she has health issues that are serious but she doesn’t have to provide healthcare or assistance. Her mother takes her kids back and forth to school and food shops around town with the children ,does all the things that a healthy person is capable of doing. Her brother also has a disorder that does not stop him from taking care of himself at all except for working a full time job.After all they moved in with him where he was assisting them. She is using all of this to take away the negative attention she is getting from the residents of Belmar because the people know she didn’t get this house redone based on the right reasons and its disgusting when there are so many more people in need. People are sick of hearing her cry the sob story about how she is a single mother raising her children alone and taking care of a disabled mother and brother. Maybe people should start taking a better look at this woman and her background and her connections. People need to look at all the facts ,I asure you if people look deep enough ,they are going to be very shocked in what they find behind this woman and this house and how she came to have all this done for her. And again why are we doing all of this in Ms Keefes name, when her mother owns the home and property, why are we not fundraising in her name? So please enough with this let this family be happy. If it had not been for this Sandy Storm they would still be living in that little bungalow that was already falling apart that according to public records they weren’t able to keep up on paying for before the storm. I think Belmar has done enough for her, if anything they have made her life easier. Id like to know why her children are even aloud to still be in Belmar school and not in Lakewood where she has resided for almost 3 years now. would anyone else have been able to keep their children there??Its crazy that no one has caught on to all the foul happening here, But I guess Belmar has bigger fish to fry right now, so this little issue will get brushed under the carpet with everything else they hide and she will live happily ever after. Trust and believe there are a lot of facts people are unaware of and I am very confident everything will be brought to light very soon.

    Saturday, September 5, 2015 at 6:01 pm | Permalink
  46. ms.perspicacity wrote:

    There is a sucker born every minute. Oops, I bruised my toe, can I have a Belmar fundraiser? Make Matt and his minions look like saints. Give me a break. Not my toe, please…

    Saturday, September 5, 2015 at 6:41 pm | Permalink
  47. Happy life wrote:

    Hey Irish eyes you know way to much about this family seems like you have a personal grudge. I’m all for helping families out when they are in need and this family does . Belmar is a great town that takes care of many families ,if you need help then ask and I’m sure the town would be able to find help for you .

    Sunday, September 6, 2015 at 3:00 pm | Permalink
  48. admin wrote:

    You should personally help whoever you want to help but you don’t speak for the town and you should leave the rest of us out of it.

    Sunday, September 6, 2015 at 3:23 pm | Permalink
  49. Guest wrote:

    Just curious, but has anyone heard of any updates on the Home By Summer? Its been awfully quiet and there has been no updates but I see we are still advertising the “Surge” book being sold at the library to benefit Home By Summer. Are we still collecting? Has the fundraiser come to an end? There were no announcement’s made and It seems every time Its brought up no one has answers. I do see the Keefe house is still not complete and they are still not back in Belmar. Does anyone know if the other house was completed and if not are these children still entitled to be in our school system? I thought there was laws about children who live in one school district but go to another. I could see allowing the first year but now it will be a third school year and legally they should be going to Lakewood school district until they are officially “home”. If anyone else is concerned at all about the wrong doings here or has any information on what the status of the fundraiser is please comment and respond. Also did anyone ever hear anything about the zoning for the Keefe house as to whether or not it was changed or is even legal, Do we even know if there were permits for the house?

    Monday, September 14, 2015 at 8:42 pm | Permalink
  50. Guest wrote:

    Good morning….while getting my coffee this morning I ran into some residents discussing the whole zoning thing about Keefe house and It is to my understanding that apparently they are going to give her a temporary C.O.
    Is that even possible? Especially if there is question about the zoning of the house and permits. I’ve never heard of a temporary C.O. being given ever. I wonder if this is another exception they are just going to make for the family.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 9:48 am | Permalink
  51. Anonymous wrote:

    temporary COs are given all the time especially for summer rentals. staged inspections allow construction loans to be approved.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 2:07 pm | Permalink
  52. Anonymous wrote:

    #51….So i understand CO are given out for summer rentals but is that considered temporary?And even if so the property in question would have to be inspected and approved.I understand some inspections may be staged, but the Keefe house has no sidewalk,construction mess everywhere,Im curious as to who did the inspection if one was done because the house is very clearly not up to code.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 4:32 pm | Permalink
  53. Anonymous wrote:

    Check out planning board minutes.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Permalink
  54. Guest wrote:

    How do I go about getting the planning board minutes.

    Friday, September 18, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink
  55. admin wrote:

    The agendas are here:

    None of the minutes are published. I guess you’d have to OPRA them.

    Friday, September 18, 2015 at 11:48 am | Permalink
  56. Guest wrote:

    I sent a OPRA request in for a copy of all the building permits. Electrical and plumbing. Lets see what happens now

    Sunday, September 20, 2015 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.