About the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force
On December 7, 2012 President Obama signed an executive order creating the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force to “…ensure that the Federal Government continues to provide appropriate resources to support affected State, local, and tribal communities to improve the region's resilience, health, and prosperity by building for the future.”
The Task Force builds on lessons learned during previous disasters, where experience has shown that planning for long term rebuilding must begin even as the response is ongoing. Working within the National Disaster Recovery Framework the task force will work with federal, state, and local officials as well as the private sector, non-profit, community, and philanthropic organizations involvement to promote recovery in a unified and coordinated manner. President Obama appointed Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovanas chair of the task force, which was officially launched on February 5.
President Obama created the Hurricane Sandy Task Force to ensure there was cabinet-level, government-wide and region-wide coordination to help communities as they are making decisions about long-term rebuilding. The Task Force is a short term entity - the President’s executive order calls for us to produce a comprehensive regional rebuilding strategy by August 2.
In addition, the Task Force has worked with federal, state and local officials to identify areas where immediate steps can be taken to help communities rebuild in a way that makes them stronger, more economically competitive and better able to withstand future storms. For example, the Task Force has:
• Announced a unified, administration-wide flood risk reduction standard for all federally-funded major rebuilding projects in the region
• Partnered with the Small Business Administration to develop and launch a data sharing agreement with state/local governments to ensure they are better able to identify and meet the remaining needs of small businesses
• Worked with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to release several toolkits to help communities design effective programs to utilize CDBG-DR funds (toolkits included model programs for homeowner rehab, buyout and counseling)
• Worked with FHA and FHFA (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) to announce extended forbearance relief and streamlined loan modification to provide borrowers who were current before Sandy with an affordable and permanent mortgage solution
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Chair
Laurel Blatchford, Executive Director
Jamie Rubin, New York State Director
Michael Passante, New Jersey State Director