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May 16, 2014

RE: CDBG-DR Resiliency Funding – Please Join Our Efforts

Dear Mayor:

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is reportedly considering a proposal to allow communities in States across the nation to compete for remaining Superstorm Sandy Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) resiliency funding.

The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 (Pub. L. 113–2, approved January 29, 2013) (Appropriations Act) made available $16 billion in CDBG funds for necessary expenses related to disaster relief, long-term recovery, restoration of infrastructure and housing, and economic revitalization in the most impacted and distressed areas resulting from a major disaster declared pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1974, due to Hurricane Sandy and other eligible events in calendar years 2011, 2012, and 2013. The Appropriations Act requires funds to be awarded directly to a State, or unit of general local government at the discretion of the HUD Secretary.

To date, the majority of the funds — nearly $10.5 billion — has gone toward Sandy recovery efforts in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. More than $1 billion, however, has been allocated to states that have experienced other disasters. All CDBG grant awards since the passage of the Sandy aid bill have been publicly announced, but members of Congress have not raised any concerns until now, according to an HUD spokesperson.

New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone has contacted HUD Secretary Shaun Donavan this week to discuss the need for a comprehensive review of New Jersey’s lingering needs following Sandy, which caused an estimated $37 billion in damage across the state.

“HUD officials appear to be under the mistaken notion that they are required to spend some of the Sandy aid package in regions of the country not affected by Superstorm Sandy,” he said. “There is no provision in the law forcing HUD to divert funds to areas outside of the Sandy-affected states.”

We thank Congressman Pallone for his leadership on this and we ask all New Jersey Mayors to join us in contacting Secretary Donovan in opposition to the proposed reallocation of Sandy CDBG-DR funding to other areas. A copy of the letter sent by League President and Stone Harbor Mayor Suzanne Walters to the HUD Secretary on this matter is available on our website at http://www.njslom.org/letters/HUD_Funding_letter.pdf. Please adapt this letter, adding your personal thoughts, and send it along to Secretary Donovan. We would appreciate a copy of your letter, too.

If you have any questions, contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121 or jmoran@njslom.com Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

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