U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced the State of Colorado will receive an additional $199.3 million to help communities recover from last September's severe storms that produced devastating floods and mudslides. The recovery funds are provided through HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program to support long-term disaster recovery efforts in areas with the greatest extent of 'unmet need', primarily in Boulder, Weld and Larimer Counties.
Last December, HUD awarded $62.8 million to assist recovery efforts in Colorado. Today's award brings HUD's combined CDBG-Disaster Recovery investment to $262.1 million. Donovan joined Governor John Hickenlooper and U.S. Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet to make the announcement at the Colorado State Capitol.
"After visiting Lyons and Evans in December I promised HUD would do more to help the state recover," said Donovan. "This additional money will fund a local vision to rebuild homes and businesses, repair badly damaged roads and bridges, and spur economic development. While we can never truly replace all that was lost, I remain committed to helping Colorado rebuild more resilient and better prepared for future storms."
"This week marks six months since the flooding began," said Governor John Hickenlooper. "From the beginning, HUD and our federal partners have been instrumental in investing in Colorado's recovery. This second round of CDBG-DR funds is critical for families, businesses and economic development in the flood-impacted communities. We know we will never make whole those impacted by the floods, but these funds can help us build back sustainable, resilient communities for Colorado's future."
"Since the catastrophic flood half a year ago, I have been proud to lead efforts in Washington to help Colorado rebuild its devastated communities, protect our homes and businesses from future floods and mudslides, and secure federal aid for flood victims," Udall said. "This second wave of recovery funds will supplement the emergency funds I have already helped secure for Colorado. But while these funds are an important milestone in our recovery efforts, I will keep fighting to ensure Coloradans have every resource we need to rebuild smarter and stronger."
"These resources will help flood-ravaged communities in our state rebuild their homes and businesses, repair their roads and bridges, and invest in infrastructure to make Colorado more resilient the next time disaster strikes," Bennet said. "We will continue to work together throughout the recovery process to build a stronger Colorado, and we are thankful for Secretary Donovan's support."
A minimum of 80 percent of the funds awarded today will be targeted in Boulder, Weld, and Larimer Counties where approximately 2,800 homes incurred major or severe damage. Although the majority of this funding is intended to address the remaining disaster recovery and resiliency needs from the September flooding, the state may target remaining funds to other especially hard-hit areas from other major disasters in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Those disasters include the 2012 High Park and Waldo Canyon wildfires, and the 2013 Royal Gorge and Black Forest wildfires.
The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, signed into law by President Obama on January 29th, included $16 billion in CDBG-Disaster Recovery funding. The legislation specifies these funds are to be used "for necessary expenses related to disaster relief, long-term recovery, restoration of infrastructure and housing, and economic revitalization in the most impacted and distressed areas resulting from a major disaster."
HUD's CDBG-Disaster Recovery grants are intended to confront housing, business and infrastructure needs beyond those addressed by other forms of public and private assistance. Using a combination of data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA), HUD identified particular counties in Colorado with the greatest extent of damage to housing, businesses and infrastructure.
HUD will shortly publish a Notice that will regulate the use of the funds announced today. The State of Colorado will then finalize disaster 'action plans' describing how it intends to expend these funds to support disaster recovery and HUD will quickly review them.