Allocation includes over $8 million for the state to address most pressing housing, economic needs
WASHINGTON, DC – February 6, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — The Department of Housing and Urban Development today allocated over $8 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery funding to Maryland, representing the first round of CDBG grants from the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013signed into law by President Obama on January 29. This is the fastest HUD has allocated CDBG funding to grantees following the passage of a funding bill.
“It is critical for HUD to make this funding available as quickly as possible so families can begin rebuilding and repairing their homes and small businesses can get back on their feet,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who also chairs the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force established by President Obama in December. “We continue to focus on providing funding and other resources to those in the most immediate need, while laying the groundwork for the region to rebuild in ways that make communities stronger, more economically sustainable and more resilient.”
“We applaud HUD for its quick and effective distribution of these CDBG funds,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “These additional resources will further support Maryland’s continuing efforts to rebuild the communities affected by the destruction of SuperStorm Sandy.”
“Super-Storm Sandy was one of the most destructive storms to ever hit the United States and had a measurable impact on Marylanders, especially on the residents of Somerset County,” said U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski, Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “We’ve got businesses that need to restart and homes that need to be rebuilt. Those hit hardest by this storm must know they have a federal government on their side. These funds in the federal checkbook will help those still reeling from the devastation of Sandy to recover and rebuild their lives, their livelihoods and their communities.”
The funding level of the first allocation is based on data from the FEMA Individual Assistance Program and the Small Business Administration’s disaster loan programs, which HUD used to identify the areas of greatest need in the region impacted by Hurricane Sandy. New York City, the State of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island were also included in this first round of allocations, which totaled $5.4 billion, or 34 percent of the $16 billion in CDBG funding included in the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013.
These allocations will be published in the Federal Register in the coming weeks along with criteria for their use. Following the State’s submission of an action plan describing how funds will be used, HUD will conduct an expedited review to enable funds to be accessed as quickly as possible. HUD has worked closely with state and local partners throughout this process to facilitate action plans being approved as soon as possible.
The CDBG Disaster Recovery funding gives grantees significant flexibility in determining how best to use their funds to meet the greatest unmet needs. In general, the funds are intended for the restoration of housing and infrastructure as well as economic revitalization in disaster-impacted areas. The funds are to meet recovery needs that are not otherwise covered by insurance, FEMA, SBA, or other sources. HUD expects the first round of allocations to focus largely on housing and small business needs.
HUD, OMB and the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, which was established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will provide oversight to prevent and identify waste, fraud and abuse. In addition, the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, established by President Obama to coordinate the federal government’s efforts to support local rebuilding, has gone further by establishing a Project Management Office to monitor spending and progress to ensure the money is used as intended.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet theneed for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; buildinclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov andhttp://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s News Listserv.
Brendan C. Gilfillan