Governor Chet Culver, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Congressman Dave Loebsack (IA-2) yesterday announced that Iowa will receive $516.7 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for disaster recovery. This brings Iowa’s funding from HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to nearly $800 million to date. The funding will be administered by the state under an agreement to follow modified rules of the CDBG program, a flexible program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs such as home buyouts, public infrastructure projects, and assistance to businesses, economic revitalization and flood mitigation.
“Iowa has come so far in the past year – rebuilding piece by piece and block by block with every dollar of assistance that has come into our state. But there are still significant areas that still show signs of devastation and have a very damaged local economy,” said Senator Harkin. “You need only walk through downtown Cedar Rapids to see empty window fronts and padlocked doors that once represented a thriving economy. Iowa suffered one of the five largest natural disasters on record of any state, and we are far from full recovery. These funds will help in that effort.”
“Nearly one year after the floods of last summer devastated Iowa, we are still rebuilding. These funds will aid Iowa’s long term recovery and rebuilding efforts,” said Congressman Loebsack. “As our families struggle to move forward, it is essential that we distribute these funds to communities based on unmet and long term recovery needs. One of the communities that will benefit significantly from these funds is Linn County, whose citizens are still coping with severe damage to their homes, businesses, and infrastructure. Just days after the flood waters hit Iowa, the Iowa Delegation was fighting for Iowans. As we continue in our recovery efforts, I will continue to make sure that the voices of Eastern Iowa are heard in Washington.”
“We continue to make great progress with our recovery efforts in Iowa thanks to strong partnerships, not only between federal, state and local governments, but with thousands of Iowans who have hope and confidence in the communities they call home. This commitment by President Obama and Secretary Donovan means that, as of today, more than $3 billion in federal and state funds have been committed to rebuilding our great state after the historic floods and storms of 2008,” said Governor Culver. “This $517 million in additional CDBG funds will give Cedar Rapids and communities throughout the state more resources to rebuild from past disasters and help prevent future disasters. In the end, these funds allow us to keep rebuilding Iowa, even better and stronger than before.”
There is $6.1 billion for CDBG from the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance and Continuing Appropriations Act that passed on September 30, 2008. Today’s funding announcement allocates that funding. One third of it had been preliminarily allocated under a provision Senator Harkin wrote that required that a portion of the money would come to the states more quickly, to have the funds allocated within 60 days. But, the entire amount uses the formula that is being announced today.
Harkin, Loebsack and Culver have worked with Secretary Donovan as well as a number of members of the White House staff to have a formula that fairly allocated the funds among the states that suffered from 2008 disasters. A key part of that discussion was the need to properly consider the need to consider economic revitalization which is far more necessary in larger disasters, particularly those involving large cities.
The total federal assistance allocated to Iowa now is over $3 billion, approximately half of which has been administered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA.)
Wednesday, June 10
HUD Funds Flood Iowa
From Rebuild Iowa Office RIO: