The Senate approved the Super Storm Sandy supplemental appropriations bill by a vote of 62 to 36 on January 28. The $50.5 billion measure passed the House on January 15 by a vote of 241 to 180 (see Memo, 1/18). The measure (P.L. 113-2) was signed into law by President Obama on January 29.
Included in the emergency supplemental is $16 billion in disaster Community Development Block Grant (d-CDBG) funding. This amount comes close to the $17 billion requested by the Administration in its emergency aid request (see Memo, 12/7/12). While most of the d-CDBG funds are expected to go to areas impacted by Super Storm Sandy, the language allows for the funds to be used by any jurisdiction nationwide that experienced a presidentially declared disaster in 2011, 2012, or 2013. Funding must be allocated by the HUD Secretary within 60 days of enactment.
The d-CDBG funds can be used for housing, infrastructure, and small business needs. Advocates are working to ensure that the funds are used to fully address the housing needs of extremely low and very low income households. NLIHC co-signed a letter to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan urging that the d-CDBG funds “facilitate the revitalization and development of affordable housing in compliance with civil rights laws as an integral part of recovery in all communities.” The letter asks HUD to focus on four basic goals in its forthcoming notice for disaster aid grant application plans, as provided for under the Super Storm Sandy supplemental appropriations bill:
- Public participation and transparency.
- Affirmative furthering of fair housing.
- Meeting all the housing needs created by Super Storm Sandy.
- Fair treatment of low income people.
With respect to these goals, the signatories ask that HUD “(a) set out clear standards in the Notice; (b) require certifications of adherence to these requirements in plan submission (as was the case in prior notices, 74 FR 7254); and (c) include plan performance requirements mandating Plans affirmatively address the substance of each required certification that HUD will carefully review.”
While the HUD Secretary is required to issue the notice within 45 days of enactment of the law, it is expected that the notice will be issued as soon as the week of February 4.
The Disaster Recovery Notice letter to HUD is attached.
Click here for the final bill text.