The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced its first allocation of emergency Sandy aid includes $1.71 billion in Community Development Block Grants for New York State. Congress approved emergency Sandy aid in January 2013. The $1.71 billion is part of $5.4 billion issued in Community Development Block Grants for five states and New York City.
Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, commented Wednesday on HUD's action.
“It’s good news for New York that this first allocation of disaster aid is now available. This is the first step in ensuring that the badly-needed legislation passed by Congress last month does lasting good for the communities impacted by Sandy. What we need now is for the Obama Administration to work closely with the state of New York to get this aid as quickly as possible to the families and communities working so hard to recover. The sooner this money gets out the door, the sooner it can jump-start efforts to rebuild the lives of those most affected by Sandy.”
According to HUD this is the fastest it has ever allocated CDBG funding to grantees following the passage of a funding bill. President Obama signed the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 into law on January 29
“It is critical for HUD to make this funding available as quickly as possible so families can begin rebuilding and repairing their homes and small businesses can get back on their feet,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who also chairs the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force established by President Obama in December. “We continue to focus on providing funding and other resources to those in the most immediate need, while laying the groundwork for the region to rebuild in ways that make communities stronger, more economically sustainable and more resilient.”
The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act allocated a total of $16 billion for the block grants.