HUD long-term disaster funding to Iowa now tops $281 million
WASHINGTON – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Steve Preston today accepted a nearly $72 million disaster plan from the State of Iowa to recover from severe storms, tornadoes and flooding earlier this year. Iowa intends to use the funding provided through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program to restore damaged and destroyed housing, to stimulate small business recovery, and to repair public infrastructure.
Iowa’s plan supplements $85 million in disaster recovery funding HUD already allocated to Iowa earlier this year. In addition, the State intends to fund training programs for lead-based paint abatement workers; matching requirements from the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and disaster case management.
“These additional funds will support Iowa’s long-term disaster recovery, especially the State’s hard-hit housing market and small business community,” said Preston. “We continue to work hand-in-hand with Iowans to help get their communities back on the road to recovery.”
Earlier this year, HUD allocated $85 million as a “first installment” of disaster funding to Iowa and last October, the Department allocated an additional $71.7 million. Last month, HUD provided another $125 million to the State to further support long-term disaster recovery. HUD will make a final year-end review of long-term disaster recovery needs for all states affected by disasters in 2008 to allocate nearly $4 billion in additional disaster funding. This review will include unmet housing, infrastructure and economic revitalization needs. The Department will publish a notice providing guidance to these states and to assist them in their long-term recovery planning. Once these local action plans are developed, they will be provided to HUD for review.
The State of Iowa’s recovery plan will target this CDBG funding to the following activities:
Housing repair/rehabilitation, homebuyer assistance and interim mortgage assistance – Iowa will assist homeowners to make needed repairs to their damaged properties. Households whose homes were destroyed or damaged beyond reasonable repair will be offered downpayment assistance for replacement homes under this program. Homeowners facing default or foreclosure may also be eligible for mortgage assistance if they are eligible for buyout assistance.
Housing buyouts – Iowa will devote CDBG funding to meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 15 percent local match for home buyouts in flood-prone areas.
New housing production – HUD funding will also support developers of new affordable rental and owner-occupied housing in disaster-declared counties. This assistance may also be used for streets, sewer and water extensions linked to development of replacement housing.
Small business stimulus – Iowa will offer small business owners forgivable loans up to $50,000 to provide working capital to help ensure businesses re-open within 12 months.
Public infrastructure – The State of Iowa plans to support public infrastructure projects that FEMA or other sources cannot fund, but are nevertheless critical to the State’s recovery. These projects may include repairing damaged water and sewer systems, storm drainage, levees, roads and bridges.
Since 1974, HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program has allocated approximately $120 billion to state and local governments to target their own community development priorities. CDBG is one of HUD’s oldest and most flexible programs. The rehabilitation of affordable housing and construction of public facilities and improvements have traditionally been the largest uses of the grants, although CDBG is also an important catalyst for job growth and business opportunities.
HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to sustainable homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov, www.hud.gov/foreclosure and espanol.hud.gov.