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August 1, 2013
HUD AWARDS $900,000 TO ASSIST GALENA RESIDENTS TO “RECOVER AND REBUILD” FROM YUKON RIVER FLOODING Funds will help residents re-connect to water and sewer service and rebuild the estimate 105 houses destroyed or made uninhabitable by May 27th flood
ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded a $900,000 "imminent threat" grant to the City of Galena to help residents recover and rebuild from Yukon River flooding in late May caused by a down-river ice jam. The funds will help residents re-connect to water and sewer service and rebuild the estimated 105 houses either destroyed or made uninhabitable by flooding on May 27th.
Some 300 Galena residents were evacuated temporarily to Fairbanks, Anchorage or elsewhere as a result of the floods. More than 100 homes were destroyed or badly-damaged by the flooding. A number of residents have told news organizations that it was the worst flooding in memory.
"The raw power of the Yukon can, in an instant, turn people's lives upside down. These funds, we hope, will help them get back to right side up," said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride. "With these and other Federal resources, residents of Galena will be able to re-connect, rebuild and re-start their lives in the place they want to call home."
The funding was recommended by HUD’s Alaska Office of Native American Programs, based in Anchorage, under HUD’s Indian Community Development Block program. The Office has also been in contact with other communities affected by Yukon River flooding to determine what assistance they might need in their recovery efforts.
In addition, at the request of Governor Parnell on June 25th President Obama issued a disaster declaration for the Alaska Gateway, Copper, Lower Yukon, Yukon Flats and Yukon Koyukuk Regional Educational Attendance Areas. A Presidential disaster declaration permits HUD to use a number of its programs to assist in recovery efforts, including a temporary moratorium on foreclosure on mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration in the affected area, use of an FHA mortgage insurance mortgage that allows affected homeowners to repair or replace damaged houses and greater flexibility in the use of HUD programs and funding resources.
HUD imminent threat grants can be provided to address threats that "represent a non-recurring, unique or unusual circumstance" and "no funds from other tribal or Federal sources are available to address the problem." Grants of up to $450,000 may be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis in most circumstances and may be up to $900,000 in Presidentially-declared disaster areas.
The ICDBG Program provides eligible grantees - Indian tribe, band, group, or nation (including Alaska Indians, Aleut, and Eskimos) or Alaska Native village which has established a relationship to the Federal government - with direct grants for use in developing viable Indian and Alaska Native Communities, including decent housing, a suitable living environment, and economic opportunities, primarily for low and moderate income persons. Most ICDBG funds are awarded in a national competition every year.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the
need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build
inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.
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