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HUD Announces Further Guidelines for COVID-Relief Funds

HUD Secretary Dr. Benjamin Carson spotlighted new ways HUD is working with states and local governments to further assist vulnerable populations amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

In an announcement this week, Carson provided guidance and additional flexibility to states and units of local government who are utilizing their existing federal disaster recovery funds to support low- and moderate-income persons and vulnerable populations for disasters that occurred between 2015 and 2019, as well as during this year's coronavirus outbreak."

HUD provides flexible grants to help cities, counties, and States recover from Presidentially declared disasters, especially in low-income areas, subject to availability of supplemental appropriations. In response to Presidentially declared disasters, Congress may appropriate additional funding for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program as Disaster Recovery grants to rebuild the affected areas and provide crucial seed money to start the recovery process. Since CDBG Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) assistance may fund a broad range of recovery activities, HUD can help communities and neighborhoods that otherwise might not recover due to limited resources.

The Federal Register notice, published August 17, grants extensions and clarifies submission deadlines for CDBG-DR grantees.

“Helping Americans recover from the coronavirus pandemic is a top priority,” Carson said. “Today’s guidance underscores the Trump Administration’s commitment to offering countless flexibilities and accommodations so that states and localities can best respond to the needs of their communities.” 

According to the announcement, CDBG-DR grantees are now: 

  • Provided a one-year extension of its previously established expenditure deadline for CDBG-DR funds under certain public laws in response to a 2015, 2016, or 2017 disaster. 
  • Provided with the option to request an additional expenditure extension beyond the one-year extension, for a maximum of two years. 
  • Provided submission extensions to CDBG-DR grantees for their certifications, implementation plan and capacity assessment, and action plan in response to a 2018 or 2019 disaster. Also includes a new provision that allows grantees to request additional submission extensions. 

For more information on HUD's CDBG-DR program, please visit HUD.gov.

About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media and Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning News, among others. Contact Christina at christina.hughesbabb@thefivestar.com.
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