U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced the State of Colorado will receive an additional $58.2 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 - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program to support long-term disaster recovery efforts in areas with the greatest extent of 'unmet need', primarily in Boulder, Weld and Larimer Counties.
HUD previously allocated $262.1 million to assist recovery efforts in Colorado. The funds announced today bring HUD's total CDBG-DR investment to $320 million.
"After visiting Lyons and Evans last year, I promised HUD would remain committed to making sure the state has the resources they need to recover from unprecedented flooding and mudslides," 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. HUD will continue working with officials in Colorado to rebuild more resilient and better prepared for future storms."
"It has been almost ten months since the flood struck last fall, and our federal partners have provided extraordinary resources to help our state recover," said Governor John Hickenlooper. "This third round of funding of CDBG-DR funds will help our communities grow stronger and more resilient as they recover over the long term. Families, businesses and local economies in disaster-impacted communities will never be made whole. But this funding will provide critical support for Colorado's future."
"The September 2013 flood and destructive government shutdown left Colorado hobbled. Since then I have been proud to work collaboratively with the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development to ensure Colorado communities have the resources they need to rebuild and protect Coloradans and businesses from future floods," U.S. Senator Mark Udall said. "This latest allocation is welcome news for Colorado and underscores the critical role HUD has played and will continue to play in helping us to rebuild smarter and stronger."
"We knew we'd have a long road to recovery, and we're making tremendous progress," Senator Michael Bennet said. "These resources from HUD are particularly critical because they will us help continue to recover in a variety of ways, from repairing homes and businesses, to restoring local infrastructure, supporting the long term economic recovery of these communities, and mitigating future damage. We'll continue to work with HUD and other federal agencies along with the state to ensure every community has what it needs to recover during this long process."
A minimum of 80 percent of the funds awarded will be targeted in Boulder, Weld, and Larimer Counties where approximately 2,800 homes incurred major or severe damage.
The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, signed into law by President Obama on January 29th, included $16 billion in CDBG-DR 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-DR 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.