The Obama Administration submitted a supplemental appropriations request of $60.4 billion for recovery from Super Storm Sandy to Congress on December 7. The request includes $15 billion in disaster Community Development Block Grant (d-CDBG) dollars for recovery and repair activities. An additional $2 billion in CDBG funds is requested for mitigation projects.
The request includes broad waiver authority for the d-CDBG funds as well as a reduction in the standard CDBG income targeting requirements to require that at least 50% of funds benefit low and moderate income households. The request specifies that housing repair dollars be only used for repairs to primary residences. The Administration further requests that HUD “be provided the authority to disapprove action plans and request modifications if inconsistent,” and that HUD be authorized to allocate dollars based on estimates of unmet needs.
While no funds are requested for tenant based rental assistance, the proposed supplemental requests that Congress not allow the funding of public housing agencies affected by Super Storm Sandy to drop below 2012 levels. Without the requested language, the funding allocation formula may result in impacted PHAs receiving a decrease in renewal funding and administrative fees for the next fiscal year.
Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) has indicated that she hopes to advance a supplemental appropriations package by the end of the calendar year.
Also on December 7, the Administration announced the formation of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, which will be headed by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. Secretary Donovan was named on November 15 as the Administration’s point person on the Super Storm Sandy Recovery (see Memo, 11/16).
Advocates expect Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) to introduce tax legislation soon that would, among other provisions, provide an allocation of low income housing tax credits (LIHTC) for communities impacted by Super Storm Sandy.
The Administration’s supplemental appropriations request is attached.