Congressman Rick Berg today spoke with community, state and federal leaders to emphasize the importance of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) in the Minot community's flood recovery efforts.
Berg served as a lead witness at a Senate Budget Committee field hearing, convened by Senator Kent Conrad, on the role of CDBG funding in disaster recovery. Senator John Hoeven, Governor Jack Dalrymple, and Minot area officials were also in attendance.
"CDBG disaster relief funds allow communities and states to tailor funding to meet their unique needs and to fill in the gaps where other federal programs are not able to provide an adequate response," Berg stated. "In Minot and other flood-affected areas, these funds will be instrumental in providing communities with the resources they need to begin rebuilding homes and critical infrastructure. Minot has faced incredible challenges throughout the past year, but the community has pulled together to take care of the needs of area residents and businesses and these CDBG funds will allow Minot to continue its long-term recovery efforts."
Last month, Berg hosted roundtable discussions with Minot community leaders to address the housing challenges facing the region and to work toward short and long-term solutions to addressing Minot's housing needs. Berg stressed that the CDBG disaster relief funds instrumental in the community's ability to facilitate the buy-outs of hundreds of flood impacted properties, infrastructure needs for new housing and businesses, and home repair assistance.
Last year, Berg fought in the House to ensure that $400 million in CDBG disaster relief funding was secured in the final FY 2012 appropriations bill. The original version of the House appropriations legislation offered no disaster-targeted CDBG funding until Berg intervened. After pressing House leaders to allocate CDBG disaster relief funds at or above the Senate's approved level of $400 million, the full amount was ultimately agreed to in Conference and included in the final bill. It was later passed by both the House and Senate and signed into law by the President. Berg also actively pushed for the funding to be targeted specifically to the most impacted states, including North Dakota.
In January, North Dakota received almost $80 million in CDBG disaster funding for Minot and other communities impacted by last year's unprecedented flooding.