HUD allocated over $85 million in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds and over $186 million in Community Development Block Grant-Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) funds on January 11. This allocation of funds, announced in notices in the Federal Register, is the last allotment approved by Congress through the “Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019.” That bill approved over $2.431 billion in disaster recovery funds for disasters occurring in 2017, 2018, and 2019. HUD had previously allocated over $2.15 billion from those funds in January of 2020, and the remaining funds are included in these two most recent appropriations.
The $85 million in long term recovery CDBG-DR funds were allocated by HUD to cover remaining needs stemming from 2018 and 2019 disasters. Funds can be spent on a wide variety of activities provided they meet CDBG program requirements and address a disaster impact. Recipients include Hawaii ($23 million); the Northern Mariana Islands ($10 million); Texas ($14 million); and Puerto Rico ($36 million). A portion of each allocation must be spent within HUD-designated Most Impacted and Distressed (MID) areas.
The $186 million in CDBG-MIT funding was allocated by HUD to states and territories that suffered from disasters in 2018 and 2019. These funds must be used for activities that increase resilience to disasters and reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of loss of life, injury, damage to and loss of property, and suffering and hardship by lessening the impact of future disasters. States and territories receiving funds include Alaska, American Samoa, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, North Carolina, the Mariana Islands, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin. The largest share of the funds went to California, Florida, and North Carolina. Like CDBG-DR, a portion of each allocation must be spent within HUD-designated MID areas.
HUD’s delay in allocating CDBG-DR funds is caused in part by the program’s lack of formal authorization, requiring HUD to issue notices and regulations each time funding is approved by Congress. Representative Al Green (D-TX), and Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Todd Young (R-IN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced the “Reforming Disaster Recovery Act” to permanently authorize the program. The bill is supported by NLIHC and its Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) – a group of over 850 local, state, and national, organizations working to ensure that all disaster survivors receive the assistance they need to fully recover. The bipartisan bill contains critical reforms proposed by DHRC members to help ensure the CDBG-DR program better serves disaster survivors with the lowest incomes and their communities.
Read the notice for disaster recovery funds at: https://bit.ly/33a2Ihb
Read the notice for mitigation funds at: https://bit.ly/3qpykbi
Learn more about the Reforming Disaster Recovery Act at: https://bit.ly/3KdcOOL