HUD Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery

Congress often funds state and local recovery efforts by appropriating funds to the Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG-DR) authorized by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 and administered by HUD. CDBG funds are typically allocated by formula grants to support economic development activities of state and local governments. Through supplemental appropriations, Congress allocates funds to HUD to distribute block grants to help communities support both short-term disaster relief as well as long-term recovery. Because of the wide array of eligible activities, the CDBG program provides flexibility to state and local recipients to use the funds to implement activities to mitigate future hazards. Many communities have used CDBG funds for this purpose; for example, Louisiana used CDBG funds to acquire properties in floodplains after Hurricane Katrina. 

Because these funds are issued through block grants, state and local recipients (grantees) exercise a great degree of discretion in determining how to use the funds. Funds can be used to acquire real property, demolish structures, prepare sites for development, to establish revolving funds, and to support economic development, among other things.  

The only requirement is that the funded activities meet three national priorities to: (1) benefit low- and moderate-income families; (2) aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight; or (3) meet other community development needs having a particular urgency because existing conditions pose a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community. It is under the third priority that Congress has funded the CDBG program to support disaster relief. 


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Related Organizations:

  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

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