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POWELL, HUD SECRETARY JACKSON ANNOUNCES DISTRIBUTION OF $11.5 BILLION IN DISASTER ASSISTANCE TO FIVE GULF COAST STATES IMPACTED BY HURRICANES

Funding will help states in long-term recovery of high impact areas

From FEMA    Filed 1/26/06   GCN
 

WASHINGTON – Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding Donald Powell and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today announced plans to allocate $11.5 billion in disaster funding among five Gulf Coast states impacted by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.  The emergency funding is provided through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program to specifically assist Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama and Texas in their long-term recovery efforts.

Powell and Jackson announced the following allocation among the five impacted states:

Alabama

$74,388,000

Florida

$82,904,000

Louisiana

$6,210,000,000

Mississippi

$5,058,185,000

Texas

$74,523,000

Total

$11,500,000,000

Donald Powell, Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding, said, “We are pleased that Congress has appropriated these monies for the purpose of long-term recovery and rebuilding of the Gulf Coast.  This program allows states leaders – who are closest to the people – to decide exactly how this grant money should be spent.  Housing is an extremely important priority for long-term rebuilding of the region and will help ensure the economic vitality of the Gulf.  In particular, we hope these funds are used to help meet the tremendous housing needs of people and families along the Gulf Coast.”

“Today, we take another major step toward fulfilling the President’s pledge to rebuild the Gulf region,” said Jackson.  “This is an investment in long-term recovery and re-building lives. It’s my hope that families who once had a home, can return home.”

On December 30, 2005, President Bush signed legislation providing $11.5 billion in disaster relief to these five Gulf Coast states.  By law, no one state could receive more than 54 percent, or $6.2 billion, of the total appropriation.  In allocating this statutory maximum to the State of Louisiana, Jackson recognized the overwhelming need and long-term recovery challenges faced by the citizens of that state.  The CDBG funding was allocated based on Congress’ intent that areas of highest need and with greatest concentration of destruction receive priority consideration.  In addition, HUD placed special emphasis on areas of particular unmet housing needs.

HUD will shortly publish a notice providing guidance to these states and to assist them in their long-term recovery planning, particularly as they relate to meeting the tremendous housing needs of their citizens.  Once these local action plans are developed, they will be provided to HUD for review.  Jackson added, “This money has got to get to the people and places that desperately need it.”

Since 1974, HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program has allocated approximately $116 billion to state and local governments to target their own community development priorities.  CDBG is one of HUD’s oldest and most flexible programs.  The rehabilitation of affordable housing and construction of public facilities and improvements have traditionally been the largest uses of the grants, although CDBG is also an important catalyst for job growth and business opportunities.  CDBG funds are distributed by formula around the country based on a community’s population, poverty, the age of its housing stock, and extent of overcrowded housing. 

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