U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced nearly $37 million in disaster recovery aid to the City of Moore, Oklahoma and to the State of Oklahoma to help local communities recover from a devastating spate of storms, including a powerful tornado that struck Moore on May 20th. These grants are provided through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program to support long-term disaster recovery efforts in areas with the greatest extent of ‘unmet need.’
The City of Moore will receive $26.3 million to supplement other forms of public and private disaster aid following May’s powerful EF5 tornado with its winds exceeding 200 miles per hour. In addition, the State of Oklahoma will receive $10.6 million to support local recovery efforts following these powerful storms that occurred from May 18th through June 2nd.
“These powerful tornadoes laid waste to a number of Oklahoma communities, destroying homes, businesses and critical infrastructure beyond the limits of private insurance and other forms of public assistance,” said Donovan. “HUD is continuing to work closely with state and local partners to help them meet these remaining needs and promote locally driven recovery strategies.”
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin added, “The May storms cost the lives of dozens of Oklahomans and over $1 billion in property damage. We are steadily rebuilding, but many families are still struggling to get back on their feet. The disaster relief grants provided by HUD – along with continued work from state and local governments and non-profits – will make a big difference in the lives of those affected by this year’s tornadoes. They will be particularly helpful as we work to provide assistance to low income Oklahomans, many of whom are uninsured.”
Rep. Tom Cole said, “Today’s HUD announcement of additional relief funding is one that brings hope to thousands of Oklahomans whose homes and businesses were destroyed by the horrific tornadoes in May. I am pleased by the generous grant provided by HUD to help our state and my hometown of Moore restore lost homes and businesses and repair broken infrastructure. Because of the committed work of Secretary Shaun Donovan and numerous groups and individuals across the country, disaster recovery in Oklahoma continues to look better each day.”
The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, signed into law by President Obama on January 29th, included $16 billion in CDBG-Disaster Recovery funding. Eight days later, HUD announced a first round of aid totaling $5.4 billion to five states and the City of New York impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Last March, HUD allocated a second round of assistance totaling $514 million to a number of state and local governments to recover from disasters that occurred in 2011 and 2012. The Department will announce additional allocations throughout the year based upon the level of remaining needs to help other states and local communities impacted by natural disasters in 2011through 2013.
HUD’s CDBG-Disaster Recovery grants are intended to confront housing, business and infrastructure needs beyond those addressed by other forms of public and private assistance. Using a combination of data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA), HUD identified those states and local requiring the greatest assistance to recover from devastating tornadoes, tropical storms, hurricanes, flood events and destructive wildfires in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
HUD is required to use the best available disaster data in order to determine the relative level of ‘unmet needs’ in areas impacted by presidentially declared disasters that occurred in 2011, 2012 and 2013. As more disaster data becomes available, HUD will make additional CDBG-Disaster Recovery allocations to these impacted areas to assist in their long-term recovery activities, if deemed necessary. HUD will shortly publish a Notice that will regulate the use of the funds announced today. State and local grantees will then finalize disaster ‘action plans’ describing how they intend to expend these funds to support disaster recovery and HUD will quickly review them.