The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced that it will be publishing a Federal Register notice that releases disaster mitigation funds in two tranches to areas impacted by recent storms. One tranche will include funds for Texas, Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, California, Missouri, and Georgia; and the second tranche will include funds for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) mitigation aspect is “new to HUD,” according to HUD Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development David Woll. Woll states that the notice is the “rules for the road” for around $16 billion in funding.
“This is the first time that money has been specifically allocated for mitigation projects,” Woll continued. “It’s really focused on future events, making sure that states are planning for future disasters.”
“Typically, money is allocated to us for unmet needs, for folks who do not have insurance, for example, and cannot get their homes rebuilt” said Woll in a press call.
“Recovery efforts in jurisdictions prepared to do their part should not be held back due to alleged corruption, fiscal irregularities and financial mismanagement occurring in Puerto Rico and capacity issues in the U.S. Virgin Islands, which is why HUD will award disaster mitigation funds in two separate tranches,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “Untangling these funds from each other will help recovery and planning move forward in communities capable of properly and prudently disbursing funds, all the while protecting taxpayers who are footing the bill.”
The plan has received support from North Carolina Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
“I want to thank Secretary Carson and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for their ongoing efforts to ensure Texas receives the money it needs to recover from one of the worst natural disasters in our state’s history,” said Governor Abbott. “Texas continues to rebuild the affected regions in a way that will make our state more resilient to future storms. I look forward to our continued partnership with the federal government to protect our communities and keep Texans safe in the event of natural disasters.”