New Jersey has launched a $40 million grant program to encourage landlords to rent vacant properties to low- and moderate-income tenants affected by Superstorm Sandy.

The Landlord Incentive program covers about 30 percent of monthly rents for qualifying tenants. The rates paid would vary slightly based on the number of bedrooms in the rental, the county and the tenant's income.

The program will be in effect for two years and is paid for with federal Community Development Block Grant funds the state has received.

State Community Affairs Department officials say the program aims to help 1,000 families and increase the state's affordable-housing stock in areas of the state affected by Sandy. Rental property owners must apply with the department to participate in the program.