The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated its first round of Hurricane Sandy recovery funds Feb. 6, doing so through a $5.4 billion Community Development Block Grant, HUD announced. The funds will go to five states, plus New York City.
This round of grants is the first from the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, which was signed into law by President Obama Jan. 29 and represents the fastest allocation ever of CDBG funding following a bill passage.
“It is critical for HUD to make this funding available as quickly as possible so families can begin rebuilding and repairing their homes and small businesses can get back on their feet,” Shaun Donovan, HUD secretary, said in a news release.
The allocations account for 34 percent of the $16 billion in CDBG funding available through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act. In this first round of funding, New York City will receive $1.77 billion, New York state will receive $1.71 billion, New Jersey will get $1.83 billion, Connecticut will receive $71.8 million, Maryland $8.6 million and Rhode Island $3.2 million.
HUD reported that funding levels are based on data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Individual Assistance Program and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s disaster loan programs, which the agency used to determine the areas in greatest need of help following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.
The recovery funds are designed to provide relief where damages have not been covered by insurance, FEMA, SBA or other sources, and where projects related to the restoration of housing and infrastructure will take priority.