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HUD No. 15-079
Shantae Goodloe
(202) 708-0685
FOR RELEASE
Monday
June 22, 2015
 

HUD SELECTS FINALISTS FOR NATIONAL DISASTER RESILIENCE COMPETITION
$1 billion available to help hard-hit areas prepare for a more resilient future

WASHINGTON - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro announced today that 40 states and local communities will compete in the second and final phase of HUD's National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC). Aligned closely with a companion education and technical assistance effort by the Rockefeller Foundation, HUD's competition is designed to help states and local communities recover from past disasters while improving their ability to withstand future extreme events through strategic community investments.

In Phase 2, each finalist is invited to propose specific projects that advance their community's comprehensive resilience plans, as envisioned in Phase 1. Selected projects will be funded from a total pool of nearly $1 billion. $181 million is set aside for projects in New York and New Jersey. The maximum grant award available at the end of Phase 2 will be $500 million and the minimum will be $1 million.

The National Disaster Resilience Competition finalists are:

States:
Alaska
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Illinois
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
New Jersey

New Mexico
New York
Oklahoma
Oregon
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Counties/Parishes:
Cook County, Illinois
DuPage County, Illinois
Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana
Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
Shelby County, Tennessee
Cities:
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Chicago, Illinois
New Orleans, Louisiana
Springfield, Massachusetts
New York City, New York
Minot, North Dakota
Moore, Oklahoma

Territories:
Puerto Rico

"HUD is committed to helping communities meet the realities of climate change and extreme weather," said HUD Secretary Castro. "We're proud to partner with the Rockefeller Foundation in supporting American families as they recover from natural disasters and prepare for the challenges of tomorrow. Together, we can build a nation that's stronger and more resilient than ever."

"Catastrophic events are becoming more common place, and crisis is the new normal. This is why it is critical for communities, large and small, to place a premium on building resilience. They can be prepared for whatever comes their way, and disruptions won't become disasters," said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. "Resilience is a journey, not a destination, and the time to build resilience is now, through a focus on strengthening social cohesion and making smart plans for communities through collaboration across sectors, so that investments - particularly in infrastructure - will yield multiple benefits, or what I call a resilience dividend. The NDRC finalists share this vision, and I am eager to learn more in the coming months about their innovative ideas inspired through the competition."

NATIONAL DISASTER RESILIENCE COMPETITION

HUD's National Disaster Resilience Competition makes $1 billion available to communities that have been struck by natural disasters in recent years. The competition promotes risk assessment, stakeholder engagement, and planning and will fund the implementation of innovative resilience projects to better prepare communities for future storms and other extreme events. Funding for the competition is from the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) appropriation provided by the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013 (PL 113-2), which made emergency funds available for Hurricane Sandy and other Presidentially declared major disasters occurring in 2011-2013. This competition responds to requests from state and local leaders who asked the federal government to help them prepare their communities for the impacts of climate change and support investments in more resilient infrastructure. HUD expects that the final awards will not only help better protect residents from future threats in those affected areas, but will help to lead the way for all American communities to make better and more thoughtful investments in resilience.

The National Climate Assessment recognizes that extreme weather events-including heat waves, drought, tropical storms, high winds, storm surges and heavy downpours-are becoming more severe. In many places, these risks are projected to increase substantially due to rising sea levels and evolving development patterns, causing risks to the safety, health, and economies of entire communities. Events like Hurricane Sandy have made it clear that coastal communities in particular remain vulnerable to such events despite advances in disaster preparedness. American communities cannot effectively reduce their risks and vulnerabilities without planning for future extreme events and other impacts of climate change both in their disaster recovery phase, and in their everyday decision-making.

The deadline for Phase 2 applications will be October 27, 2015. All successful applicants will be required to tie their proposals back to the eligible disaster from which they are recovering. For example, a community that suffered a flood might want to offer buyouts to property owners in the most impacted and distressed areas, coupled with restoration of a wetland to limit future flooding and provide a nature preserve or recreation area. A community that lost housing and a road during a mudslide might want to construct housing in safer areas for survivors, while also making infrastructure investments that support a more diverse and vibrant economy to help impacted businesses recover from the effects of the last event and bounce back more quickly from future hazards. HUD will announce the winners of Phase 2 in early 2016.

Partnership with Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation renewed its commitment to work closely with HUD to encourage and support a culture of resilience around disaster preparedness and planning in American communities. As it did in Phase 1 of the NDRC competitions, the Rockefeller Foundation will provide targeted technical assistance to eligible states and communities and support a stakeholder-driven process, informed by the best available data, to identify recovery needs and innovative solutions. The strategic partnership between the Rockefeller Foundation and HUD draws on the best of the Rebuild by Design competition, where the Rockefeller Foundation provided lead support for administration of the competition and community engagement. Rebuild by Design competition produced six winning projects announced in June 2014 to be implemented with $930 million from HUD. These projects serve as models of how philanthropic resources and federal funding can be leveraged to support the design of innovative resilience projects which not only protect people and property from future disasters but also provide highly desirable community amenities like parks and recreation areas. Rebuild by Design encouraged communities to use both traditional "gray" and green infrastructure solutions to recurrent flooding, spurring best thinking to move beyond traditional sea walls to more attractive and sustainable solutions.

Objectives

The Competition seeks to meet the following six objectives:

  1. Fairly and effectively allocate $1 billion in CDBG-DR funds.
  2. Create multiple examples of modern disaster recovery that apply science-based and forward-looking risk analysis to address recovery, resilience, and revitalization needs.
  3. Leave a legacy of institutionalizing-in as many states and local jurisdictions as possible-the implementation of thoughtful, sound, and resilient approaches to addressing future risks.
  4. Provide resources to help communities plan and implement disaster recovery that makes them more resilient to future extreme weather events or other shocks, while also improving quality of life for existing residents.
  5. Fully engage community stakeholders to inform them about the impacts of climate change and develop pathways to resilience based on sound science.
  6. Leverage investments from the philanthropic community to help communities define problems, set policy goals, explore options, and craft solutions to inform their own local and regional resilient recovery strategies.

Read more on the National Disaster Resilience Competition.


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