Funding to support housing recovery
WASHINGTON – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson today allocated an additional $57.8 million to help Texas recover from Hurricane Harvey. The grant announced today is provided through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program. Combined with CDBG-DR grants already allocated to the State of Texas from disasters that occurred in 2015 and 2016, HUD’s support of long-term disaster recovery in the Lone Star State now totals more than $371 million.
“Clearly, the long-term needs in Texas far exceed this allocation so I anticipate this downpayment will be targeted to address damaged housing to help Texans move forward with their own recovery,” said Secretary Carson. “As we work to allocate additional funding in a fair and effective manner, states and communities can count on HUD to be a strong partner in efforts to recover from the hurricanes and other major disasters our nation experienced this year.”
HUD relied upon the best available data from FEMA to allocate the recovery funds announced today and evidence supports the immediate allocation of the $57.8 million. The Department opted to allocate the funds to Texas as it has an existing recovery plan, as a result of funds awarded for 2016 disasters, that can serve as a rapid launch platform for the use of these funds. As additional disaster data become available in the coming weeks for areas impacted by major disasters declared in 2017, HUD will use those data to allocate the $7.4 billion in disaster recovery grants appropriated in September in an equitable and consistent manner, based on a clear understanding of unmet needs.
CDBG-DR grants support a wide variety of activities including housing redevelopment, business assistance and infrastructure repair. State and local governments are required to spend these recovery funds in “the most impacted” areas. Using data available from FEMA as of October 2, 2017, HUD determined that Texas has unmet housing needs in excess of $57.8 million as a result of Hurricane Harvey. Using these data, HUD estimates thirteen counties in Texas have qualifying levels of unmet housing needs but the situation is most severe in Harris, Galveston and Jefferson counties.
On May 5th, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 (the Act), which included $400 million in CDBG-DR funding to support recovery from major disasters in 2015 and later. To determine these disaster recovery allocations, the Act requires HUD to analyze the most currently available data of the unmet costs to repair seriously damaged properties and infrastructure in the most-impacted counties. HUD had previously allocated $342 million to qualifying 2015 and 2016 disasters nationwide.
On September 8th, President Trump signed the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 and the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017, which appropriated $7.4 billion in CDBG-DR funding for major disasters declared in calendar year 2017. As more data become available with respect to unmet needs arising from disasters such as Harvey, Irma, Maria and the California fires, HUD will announce the allocation of the $7.4 billion.