The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced a third round of grant funding, totaling more than $2.5 billion, to help four states and New York City continue recovering from Hurricane Sandy. Provided through HUD's Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program, these recovery funds will assist impacted communities to meet remaining unmet housing, economic development and infrastructure needs.
As part of HUD's CDBG-Disaster Recovery grants that are allocated based upon currently available disaster data, the Department is awarding $930 million to help grantees implement winning proposals from its Rebuild by Design competition. This competition has produced design solutions that represent the leading edge in innovative approaches to incorporating resilience into recovery and rebuilding. HUD will announce the winning Rebuild by Design proposals soon.
Since the passage of the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, HUD has now allocated $14 billion of the $15.2 billion in available CDBG-DR funds, including $13 billion to assist communities located in the region impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The third round of funding announced today is intended to support remaining unmet recovery needs that continue to confront these communities.
"HUD has worked very closely with officials in the region impacted by Hurricane Sandy to ensure that this funding meets all of their critical housing needs," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan who chaired President Obama's Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. "We will continue working with the grantees to ensure they have the resources they need to help families get back into their homes and to rebuild the region smarter, stronger, and better prepared for future storms."
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said, "New Jersey has enjoyed a very strong and collaborative relationship with Secretary Donovan and HUD throughout our recovery from Superstorm Sandy. My Administration will continue to work with HUD to get families back into their homes as quickly as possible and pursue opportunities to help communities build back in stronger and more resilient ways. This third round of more than $880 million in disaster relief funding from HUD will enable New Jersey to continue to prioritize our housing needs for Sandy-affected families, including clearing the RREM wait list and providing significant additional resources for renters."
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, "New Yorkers are grateful to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan for his extraordinary leadership of the Federal Government's recovery efforts. HUD has worked closely with the State to ensure that we move quickly and effectively to get assistance to those devastated by these storms. With this third allocation of $600 million we have now been allocated more than $4 billion, the single largest award of CDBG-DR funds from HUD. The combined allocations of New York State and New York City total more than $8 billion that will be used to return people to their homes and rebuild New York State communities better, stronger and more resilient than ever before. We understand that other communities across the country also suffered from natural disasters and we support efforts to rebuild nationwide."
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio added, "The City and HUD have worked closely together to ensure that we can meet the needs of New Yorkers still struggling to recover from the devastation caused by Sandy. We are deeply grateful to Senator Charles Schumer for his extraordinary leadership in making this important step possible. This new funding, combined with the CDBG-DR housing assistance the City has already received, and HUD's continued commitment to work with us, ensures that we'll be able to provide the support that every homeowner in the Build It Back pipeline needs and deserves."
"I commend and thank HUD for including Rhode Island in the third round of disaster recovery funds." Governor Lincoln D. Chafee said. "With these federal funds, we will continue to focus on rebuilding in ways that make our communities stronger, more economically sustainable and more resilient. Throughout this process, the Obama Administration has been diligent in awarding federal funds that support Rhode Island and putting our people to work in programs that benefit all Rhode Islanders."
Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy said, "Today's announcement that Connecticut will receive another allocation of federal disaster funds is welcome news. I thank President Obama and Secretary Donovan for their ongoing commitment to Connecticut. There is more work to be done, of course, and I will continue to advocate on behalf of the state for more resources to support our efforts to rebuild stronger from Hurricane Sandy. I appreciate that we have strong federal partners in this effort."
HUD allocates CDBG-Disaster Recovery funds based on the best available data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Small Business Administration disaster loan programs, the Department of Transportation, and the Army Corps of Engineers to identify the areas of greatest need in the region impacted by Hurricane Sandy. These allocations will be published in the Federal Register in the coming weeks along with criteria for their use.
Rebuild by Design is an innovative design competition that has brought together interdisciplinary design teams, academics, and local communities in an effort to promote resiliency. These awards will allow grantees to execute forward-thinking local recovery projects that can be replicated throughout the region and, potentially, across the country.
In this third Sandy allocation, grantees will be required to identify unmet needs for housing, economic development and infrastructure. Grantees will be required to incorporate a risk assessment in their planning efforts to ensure long term resilience.
HUD, the Office of Management and Budget (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 established a Project Management Office to monitor spending and progress to ensure the money is used as intended.