U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro recently awarded a total of $500 million to help Louisiana, Texas, and West Virginia in their housing recover after severe flooding events that occurred earlier this year.
These funds are provided through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program and will be used to assist the most impacted communities that experienced the most serious damage to their housing stock.
President Obama signed the Continuing Resolution into law on September 29, 2016. This spending measure directed HUD to allocate $500 million “in the most impacted and distressed areas” that experienced presidentially declared disasters in 2016, but prior to September 29th.
As a result of this limitation, HUD states that they considered all 33 major disasters that occurred within this period of time. Subsequently, areas effected by Hurricane Matthew are not eligible as for these funds as disaster declarations for Matthew occurred after the Continuing Resolution became law.
“Immediately after President Obama signed this spending bill into law, my team began identifying the strongest cases to receive disaster recovery funds,” said Castro. “These three states – Louisiana, Texas and West Virginia – experienced intense and destructive flooding causing great damage to residents’ homes and draining state resources. Today, we make a critically needed investment to help these communities recover and help families rebuild their homes.”
HUD awarded the disaster recovery funds based on each state’s proportional share of serious unmet housing needs giving $437.8 million to Louisiana, $45.2 million to Texas, and $17 million to West Virginia.
HUD distributes CDBG-Disaster Recovery funds based on the best available data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to identify the areas of greatest level of ‘unmet housing need.’ In the hardest-hit six counties of Louisiana, three counties of Texas, and two counties of West Virginia, more than 102,000 households experienced some level of damage to their homes including more than 41,000 families who saw the most serious level of damage or destruction and unmet needs.