|HUD No. 21-191
HUD Public Affairs
November 18, 2021
HUD SECRETARY FUDGE AND GOVERNORS PIERLUISI, EDWARDS, BROWN DISCUSS $2 BILLION IN DISASTER RECOVERY AND RESILIENCE FUNDING AWARDS
WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, and Oregon Governor Kate Brown held a virtual press call on Thursday, November 18, to discuss HUD’s allocation of $2 billion in federal funding to advance equitable disaster recovery and build resilience to climate change.
These Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds, which include mitigation, will help communities recover from and build resilience to natural disasters, including climate disasters, with a specific focus on low- and moderate-income populations. These are the first CDBG-DR/MIT awards of the Biden-Harris Administration. This is the first time the state of Oregon has ever received a DR/MIT allocation.
“With these allocations, HUD and the Biden-Harris Administration are providing communities resources to Build Back Better from disasters and improve long-term, equitable resilience to future impacts of climate change.” said Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “This is a top priority of the Administration and of this Department – and a core piece of HUD’s newly published Climate Action Plan. HUD will continue to work with communities to ensure they have equitable access to disaster recovery and resilience to the impacts of climate change.”
“It is hard to understate what the $422 million the Biden-Harris Administration has allocated to Oregon for disaster recovery will mean for the families displaced by the Labor Day 2020 wildfires,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “The inescapable truth of climate change is that the most vulnerable people are the ones hardest hit by natural disasters. Because of historic disparities and systemic inequities, people from Oregon’s rural, low-income, and communities of color who lost their homes face the greatest barriers to rebuilding. Now, we will reconstruct and replace homes to support families who have been living displaced for over a year, expand access to affordable and fire-resilient housing, and support business recovery to help recover lost jobs.”
“The reconstruction of Puerto Rico has been at the top of my agenda since I assumed office,” said the Governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro R. Pierluisi. “The challenges our administration encountered stemmed from obstacles around access to recovery funding, which, thanks to the commitment of this Administration and Secretary Fudge's leadership, are now a thing of the past. We are now witnessing significant advances in the construction of new, resilient housing, community improvements, and sustainable development. There is still a lot of work to be done, but we are confident that with the support received from the Biden-Harris administration, we will achieve the strong Puerto Rico all our citizens deserve.”
“This allocation of recovery funding for 2020 hurricanes in Louisiana is a step in the right direction and very much appreciated, but I continue to advocate for the additional funding needed for a full recovery of Southwest Louisiana and the other impacted areas of the state, especially when it comes to housing,” said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. “I appreciate Secretary Fudge’s continued support of Louisiana as we work to make the case for more funding. Rest assured that as soon as HUD publishes the regulations related to this funding, we will quickly submit Louisiana’s action plan for investing these funds into recovery from the hurricanes that devastated our state more than a year ago. We have been working with the communities and leaders in Southwest Louisiana for months to develop a recovery plan that will put these funds to use quickly and effectively. And of course, we will also continue to make the case for the necessary federal recovery funding related to the catastrophic damages caused by Hurricane Ida this past August.”
Climate change poses a multitude of risks for communities across the country. This includes rising costs to maintain and repair damaged infrastructure from more frequent and extreme weather events and health and safety challenges. Acting now to manage climate risk will increase the resilience of communities to wildfires, extreme heat, tropical storms, heavy rains, and other disasters made worse by a changing climate.
Equitable disaster recovery and resilience is a priority of HUD’s Climate Action Plan.
HUD’s Climate Action Plan notes that the Department is committed to advancing the goals of Executive Order 13985, which requires HUD to allocate resources in a manner that equitably invests in underserved communities, especially communities of color. HUD is committed to taking actions to invest in climate resiliency to reinforce its mission of creating strong, sustainable, and inclusive communities with affordable homes for all.