On June 14, President Barack Obama announced that $1 billion of remaining Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds appropriated in the Super Storm Sandy relief package (see Memo, 2/1/13) would be redirected to a new competitive fund to help states prepare for climate change. Of the $1 billion allocated for the new purpose, only $180 million could be used for housing needs in areas impacted by Super Storm Sandy. Members of the New York and New Jersey congressional delegations expressed opposition to the announcement, noting that a great deal of work remains to be done in the aftermath of Sandy. The President’s announcement was made during a commencement address at the University of California, Irvine.
On June 18, HUD issued Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy: Progress Update – Spring 2014, the first report of its kind since seven rebuilding goals were identified by the Sandy Rebuilding Task Force in August 2013. The goals are:
- Promoting resilient rebuilding through innovative ideas and a thorough understanding of current and future risk;
- Ensuring a regionally coordinated, resilient approach to infrastructure investment;
- Restoring and strengthening homes and providing families with safe, affordable housing options;
- Supporting small businesses and revitalizing local economies;
- Addressing insurance challenges, understanding, and affordability;
- Building state and local capacity to plan for and implement long-term recovery and rebuilding; and
- Improving data sharing between federal, state, and local officials.
Summarizing the report’s findings, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a press release, “While this report shows we are following through on this commitment, we also recognize that many families and businesses are still on the road to recovery and delays in connecting them to the services and support they need are often too long.”
Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy: Progress Update – Spring 2014 is at: http://1.usa.gov/1lDaNxd