The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $212,374,000 to support long-term disaster recovery in hard-hit areas in California. A total of $124,155,000 is dedicated for unmet needs and $88,219,000 for mitigation. These funds are provided through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program and will address seriously damaged housing, businesses and infrastructure from major disasters that occurred in the state in 2017.
The grant announced Tuesday, April 10 is part of the largest single amount of disaster recovery assistance in HUD’s history and amounts to nearly $28 billion spread over nine states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and includes more than $12 billion for major disasters that occurred in 2017. It also includes nearly $16 billion to support ‘mitigation’ activities in areas that experienced major Presidentially declared disasters since 2015. Mitigation can broadly be described as actions taken to protect communities from the predictable damage from future events.
“Thanks to this special appropriation,” said Regional Administrator Jimmy Stracner, “HUD is committing significant resources toward meeting the unmet needs of communities devastated by the 2017 wildfires in Northern and Southern California and mitigating community-level impacts of future disasters.”
“This funding is critical to the long-term recovery of California communities devastated by a series of natural disasters,” said California Department of Housing and Community Development Director Ben Metcalf. “These disasters compounded housing supply problems that were already challenging. This money will go a long way toward helping California’s disaster-impacted individuals and families get back on the road to recovery.”
CDBG-DR grants support a variety of disaster recovery activities including housing redevelopment and rebuilding, business assistance, economic revitalization, and infrastructure repair. Grantees are required to spend the bulk of these recovery funds in “most impacted” areas as identified by HUD.
“California has 13 counties still reeling from the impacts of several major natural disasters, some of which are the worst the state has ever endured,” said District 3 Ventura County Supervisor Kelly Long. “With the assistance of federal, state, and local resources we continue to work toward recovery. We appreciate the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the critical allocation of Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery funds as we address the long-term recovery for our communities.”
HUD will issue administrative guidelines for use of the funds shortly to address grantees’ long-term recovery needs, particularly as it relates to housing recovery.