The Department of Housing and Urban Development has allocated $5.4 billion in recovery funds for areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, marking the fastest such allocation after the passing of a funding bill in the agency’s history.
The first round of the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funding will be used “to address most pressing housing, economic needs” in five states and New York City.
This allocation represents 34% of the $16 billion in CDBG funding included in the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 signed into law by President Obama on Jan. 29.
According to HUD secretary Shaun Donovan, who also chairs the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force established by President Obama in December, going forward HUD’s focus will remain on “laying the groundwork for the region to rebuild” as quickly as possible.
At $71.8 million Connecticut received the largest allocation, followed by Maryland and Rhode Island with $8.6 million and $3.2 million, respectively.
The other areas that suffered significant damage from Hurricane Sandy and were part of this first funding distribution were New Jersey with $1.83 billion, New York State with $1.77 billion and New York City with $1.71 billion.
HUD said it used data from the FEMA Individual Assistance Program and the Small Business Administration’s disaster loan programs “to identify the areas of greatest need in the region impacted by Hurricane Sandy.”
HUD plans to monitor and make available to the public all the data related to these allocations, the criteria for their use, and each state’s action plan describing how the funds will be used.