HUD provides flexible grants to help cities, counties, and States recover from Presidentially declared disasters, especially in low-income areas, subject to availability of supplemental appropriations.
In response to disasters, Congress may appropriate additional funding for the CDBG and HOME programs as Disaster Recovery grants to rebuild the affected areas and provide crucial seed money to start the recovery process. Since CDBG Disaster Recovery assistance may fund a broad range of recovery activities, HUD can help communities and neighborhoods that otherwise might not recover due to limited resources. Disaster Recovery grants often supplement disaster programs of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Small Business Administration, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In addition, HOME Disaster Recovery grants can provide an important resource for providing affordable housing to disaster victims.
Type of Assistance
HUD generally awards noncompetitive, nonrecurring Disaster Recovery grants by a formula that considers disaster recovery needs unmet by other Federal disaster assistance programs.
CDBG Disaster Recovery funds are made available to States, units of general local governments, Indian tribes, and Insular areas designated by the President of the United States as disaster areas. These communities must have significant unmet recovery needs and the capacity to carry out a disaster recovery program (usually these are governments that already receive HOME or Community Development Block Grant allocations). At times, supplemental appropriations restrict funding solely to States rather than the local cities and/or counties.
CDBG Disaster Recovery grants primarily benefit low-income residents in and around communities that have experienced a natural disaster. Generally, grantees must use at least half of Disaster Recovery funds for activities that principally benefit low-and moderate-income persons. These can be either activities in which all or the majority of people who benefit have low or moderate incomes or activities that benefit an area or service group in which at least 51 percent of the populous are of low- and moderate-income.
Grantees may use CDBG Disaster Recovery funds for recovery efforts involving housing, economic development, infrastructure and prevention of further damage to affected areas, if such use does not duplicate funding available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Small Business Administration, and the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Examples of these activities include:
- buying damaged properties in a flood plain and relocating residents to safer areas;
- relocation payments for people and businesses displaced by the disaster;
- debris removal not covered by FEMA;
- rehabilitation of homes and buildings damaged by the disaster;
- buying, constructing, or rehabilitating public facilities such as streets, neighborhood centers, and water, sewer and drainage systems;
- code enforcement;
- homeownership activities such as down payment assistance, interest rate subsidies and loan guarantees for disaster victims;
- public services (generally limited to no more than 15 percent of the grant);
- helping businesses retain or create jobs in disaster impacted areas; and
- planning and administration costs (limited to no more than 20 percent of the grant).
Eligible activities must meet at least one of three program national objectives: benefit persons of low and moderate income, aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight, or meet other urgent community development needs because existing conditions pose a serious and immediate threat to the health and welfare of the community where other financial resources are not available.
HUD notifies eligible governments that must then develop and submit an Action Plan for Disaster Recovery before receiving CDBG Disaster Recovery grants. The Action Plan must describe the needs, strategies, and projected uses of the Disaster Recovery funds.
Congress appropriated the following CDBG Disaster Recovery Funding:
- FY 2013 - $16 billion to assist recovery from Hurricane Sandy. ($15.18 billion after sequester)
- FY 2012 - $400 million to assist recovery from multiple disasters occurring in 2011
- FY 2010 - $100 million to assist recovery in areas affected by severe storms and flooding from March 2010 through May 2010
- FY 2008 - $6.1 billion to assist recovery from all 2008 disasters, including Hurricanes Ike, Gustav and Dolly
- FY 2008 - $300 million to assist recovery from the Midwest floods
- FY 2008 - $3.0 billion to supplement the LA homeowner assistance program
- FY 2006 - $16.7 billion to assist the victims of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma
- FY 2005 - $150 million to assist recovery from multiple disasters
- FY 2002 - $2.783 billion to assist post-September 11th New York City's recovery efforts
- FY 2001 - $700 million to assist post-September 11th New York City's recovery efforts
- FY 1999 - $20 million to assist recovery from multiple disasters
- FY 1998 - $130 million to assist recovery from multiple disasters
- FY 1997 - $500 million to assist recovery from upper Midwest floods
- FY 1996 - $50 million to assist recovery from multiple disasters
- FY 1995 - $39 million to assist with recover from the Oklahoma City bombing
- FY 1994 - $180 million to assist with recovery from Tropical Storm Alberto
- FY 1994 - $225 million for the Northridge Earthquake
- FY 1994 - $425 million for the recovery from the earthquake in Southern California and Midwest Floods
- FY 1993 - $85 million to assist with recovery from Hurricanes Andrew, Iniki, and Typhoon Omar
CDBG Disaster Recovery Assistance is authorized under Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended. Program rules are published in the Federal Register pursuant to specific appropriation acts. The Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) administers the program.
If you are an interested citizen, contact the officials responsible for administering your state’s CDBG disaster recovery program for more information. Contact information can be found on the Active Disaster Grants page. HUD does not provide CDBG disaster recovery assistance directly to citizens or organizations. If your local or state government officials cannot answer your questions, or if you are a local official, contact the HUD field office* that serves your area. Note that the local or state government administers the program and determines which projects receive funding.
* Hearing impaired users may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.