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Federal disaster recovery funding now available
Charlotte Scott   on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 3:00:00 pm

On Tuesday, April 10, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), within the Department of Commerce, has released its FY 18 Disaster Supplemental Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), which will provide $587 million in grants to communities where a Presidential declaration of a major disaster was issues under the Stafford Act as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires, and other natural disasters that occurred in 2017. These grants will be administered through the agency’s Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program, which will channel the funds through a wide range of technical, planning, and public works and infrastructure assistance.

Here is the list of eligible applicants under this program: (i) District Organization of an EDA-designated Economic Development District (EDD); (ii) Indian Tribe or a consortium of Indian Tribes; (iii) State, county, city, or other political subdivision of a State, including a special purpose unit of a State or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions; (iv) institution of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education; or (v) public or private non-profit organization or association acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of a State.

The agency states that there is no application deadline, and that the proposals will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis. This grant program will continue to operate until all funds have been depleted, or if the NOFO is re-published or cancelled.

This new $587 million grant program represents the agency’s efforts to mobilize and generate a plan following the $600 million received in February under the Bi-Partisan Budget Act of 2018. The grants aim to foster economic resiliency to distressed communities by preventing prolonged economic dislocation after these disasters. To preview and learn more about the applications, visit: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=302953&utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

On the same day, Secretary Ben Carson of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that $28 billion of funds will be provided through its Community Development Block Grant- Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program. This $28 billion represents the largest single amount of disaster recovery assistance in HUD’s history. The program will target seriously damaged housing, businesses, and infrastructure from major disasters that have occurred since 2015 across nine states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Texas, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands will be the top recipients of these funds. $12 billion of this amount will be allocated to areas which experienced major disasters in 2017.

HUD announced that the grantees are required to spend the majority of these recovery funds in what HUD has identified as the “most impacted” areas. In the press release, HUD states that it plans to release administrative guidelines for grantees use of the funds in addressing long-term recovery needs. Read HUD’s full press release here, which includes a breakdown of funds awarded by state/territory: https://www.hud.gov/press/press_releases_media_advisories/HUD_No_18_028