The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded $615,922,000 to help hard-hit areas in the State of Florida to recover from Hurricane Irma. The grant announced today by the Trump Administration is provided through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program and will support the repair of damaged homes, businesses, and critical infrastructure in the state.
“President Trump and the entire federal family stand with the people of Florida to help them recover from this devastating storm as quickly as possible,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “HUD and the State of Florida will work together to speed the rebuilding of seriously damaged homes and businesses that lack the resources to recover on their own if not for these recovery dollars.”
Governor Scott said, “I want to thank HUD and the Trump Administration for supporting those whose lives were devastated by Hurricane Irma. These funds will help Floridians rebuild their lives following the devastation of Hurricane Irma. We must continue to work to ensure everyone impacted by this storm can fully recover.”
On Sept. 8, President Trump signed the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 and the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017. The Act appropriated $7.4 billion in CDBG-DR funding for major disasters declared in calendar year 2017. To distribute these funds, the Act requires HUD to direct the funds to the areas most impacted by qualifying disasters. HUD will announce additional grants to other jurisdictions as more data become available on the unmet needs from 2017 disasters including Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria and the California fires.
In making today’s allocation to the state of Florida, HUD relied upon information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) on the number of seriously damaged homes lacking adequate insurance and businesses that failed to qualify for SBA’s disaster loan program. HUD’s analysis found thousands of middle- and lower income homeowners and renters experienced serious damage to their residences and were not adequately insured for flood damage. Similarly, businesses located within hard-hit areas of the state suffered serious damage from flooding that is not covered by insurance or other resources. The grant announced today is designed to meet needs not being met by private insurance or other sources of federal assistance.
CDBG-DR grants support a variety of disaster recovery activities including housing redevelopment and rebuilding, business assistance, economic revitalization, and infrastructure repair. State and local governments are required to spend the majority of these recovery funds in “most impacted” areas as identified by HUD. HUD will issue administrative guidelines shortly for use of the funds that will increase grantees’ flexibility in addressing their long-term recovery needs, particularly in the area of housing recovery.