NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel sent a letter on June 12 to HUD Secretary Ben Carson calling on the agency to immediately release over $16 billion dollars in Community Development Block Grant–Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) mitigation funding. Congress approved the funds more than 16 months ago to help communities devastated by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria prepare for future storms. As the 2019 hurricane season begins, however, the funds have yet to be released. The recently passed disaster aid package requires HUD to make these funds available within 90 days, but every day of delay puts lives at risk.
Diane also called on HUD to quickly remove other barriers to disaster recovery in Puerto Rico. HUD has approved Puerto Rico’s CDBG-DR Action Pan for recovery, but HUD has still not signed a grant agreement allowing those funds to be used.
“Rebuilding and mitigation resources are critically needed to protect the lowest-income survivors when the next disaster hits,” Diane states in the letter. “HUD must immediately release billions of dollars in aid approved by Congress to help Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas fully recover and rebuild strong, resilient and sustainable communities.”
The letter was sent on behalf of the Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC), an NLIHC-led coalition of more than 800 national, state and local organizations, including many that work directly with disaster-impacted communities. The DHRC works to ensure federal disaster recovery efforts reach all impacted households, including those with the lowest income who are often the hardest-hit by disasters and have the fewest resources to recover.
Read the letter at: https://bit.ly/2wXm6Kg