WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Housing and Urban Development(HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan allocated $400 million in emergency aid to help communities in eight states to recover from presidentially declared natural disasters in 2011. Provided through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, these grants will support long-term disaster recovery efforts in areas with the greatest extent of ‘unmet need.’
“Last year, I personally saw the extent of the destruction left behind by several of these disasters, the hardship these communities are feeling, and the work that lies ahead,” said Donovan. “These funds will supplement other forms of disaster assistance to put these states and local areas on the path toward long-term recovery.”
On November 18, 2011, Congress appropriated $100 million in CDBG funds to support long-term disaster recovery throughout the nation. At that same time, Congress gave HUD the authority to allocate up to $300 million in additional CDBG funds to assist “the most impacted and distressed areas” in the wake of last year’s disasters. Donovan elected to exercise HUD’s full authority by targeting the maximum amount of CDBG funding allowed toward helping these states and local areas.
These funds are intended to confront unmet housing, business and infrastructure needs beyond those addressed by other forms of public and private assistance. Using a combination of federal data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA), HUD identified those states and local communities most impacted and requiring the greatest assistance to recover due to the devastating tornadoes in the Southeast and Missouri; the remnants of Hurricanes Irene and Lee in the Northeast and New England; severe flooding in parts of North Dakota; and destructive wildfires in Texas. As a result of HUD’s analysis of disaster data, Donovan made the following allocations within the following states:
The State of New York will receive $71,654,116 and will target at least 80 percent of these funds to assist Schoharie, Tioga, Broome, Greene, and/or Orange Counties in recovering from the extensive flooding from Hurricane Irene and the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee. In addition, Orange County will receive $11,422,029 and Union Township will receive $10,137,818 directly from HUD to support recovery efforts.
The State of North Dakota will receive $11,782,684. The state will direct at least 80 percent of this grant to help Ward County to recover from severe flooding. In addition, HUD is providing $67,575,964 directly to the City of Minot which was especially hard hit by the flooding and had the greatest extent of unmet needs in the state.
HUD will allocate $24,697,966 to the State of Alabama to support long-term disaster recovery, at least 80 percent of which will be targeted to Tuscaloosa, Marion, Jefferson and/or DeKalb Counties. HUD will also directly provide $16,634,702 to City of Tuscaloosa; $7,847,084 to Jefferson County; and $6,386,326 to the City of Birmingham to recover from last April’s severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding.
The State of Missouri will receive $8,719,059, at least 80 percent of which will support long-term recovery activities in Jasper County following last spring’s severe storms, tornadoes and flooding. In addition, the City of Joplin will receive $45,266,709 directly from HUD to support its efforts to recover from last year’s devastating tornado.
HUD is allocating $27,142,501 to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, at least 80 percent of which will be directed to Bradford, Dauphin, Columbia, Wyoming, and/or Luzerne Counties which had significant damage following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. In addition, Luzerne County will receive $15,738,806 and Dauphin County will receive $6,415,833 directly from HUD.
The State of Texas will receive $31,319,686 and will target at least 80 percent of this assistance to Bastrop County which suffered the greatest extent of damage and destruction from a series of wildfires that occurred from late summer through the autumn.
HUD is allocating $21,660,211 to the State of Vermont which will target at least 80 percent of these funds in Washington and Windsor Counties which saw the greatest degree of damage, primarily flooding, from Tropical Storm Irene.
The State of New Jersey will receive $15,598,506, at least 80 percent of which will assist Passaic County to recover from the severe impacts of Hurricane Irene.
Before these grants can be obligated, grantees will submit an action plan to HUD identifying the proposed use of all funds and how their use will address long-term recovery. All State and local grantees must also certify that they have the capacity to adequately manage these funds in a timely and compliant manner. CDBG disaster recovery funds cannot be used to reimburse costs for which funds are made available by FEMA or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.