Delegation Presses U.S. Housing Secretary on the Need for Additional Federal Support for Minot
Washington – Senators Kent Conrad and John Hoeven and Congressman Rick Berg again today pressed U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan for additional Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for those families and business owners impacted by this year's flood disaster in Minot.
"The people of Minot need our help, and they need it now. The CDBG program is badly needed in Minot to ensure an effective and efficient disaster recovery," the Delegation said in a joint statement. “That full recovery must include funding assistance from a number of federal agencies, including Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding through FEMA, funding assistance through the Corps, low interest loans from SBA, and this CDBG funding through HUD.”
Secretary Donovan told the delegation that HUD is looking at a range of ways to ensure that North Dakota receives its fair share of CDBG funding.
Last month, Senators Conrad and Hoeven helped secure an additional $400 million in CDBG funding for states that have experienced severe natural disasters this year. Congressman Berg pressed House leadership to ensure that the full funding approved by the Senate and the designation of these funds for disaster relief were included in the final appropriations bill approved by the House and Senate. The delegation has been pushing for the funding to be targeted specifically to the most impacted states, such as North Dakota.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development oversees the CDBG program and Secretary Donovan is responsible for allocating those funds to areas impacted by disasters this year.
In North Dakota alone, the state has identified significant need for CDBG funds for buy-outs of hundreds of flood impacted properties, home repair assistance, and infrastructure for new housing and business developments.
Secretary Donovan visited North Dakota last year to see firsthand the housing shortage due to the oil boom in the western half of the state. The Delegation reiterated that this shortage was exacerbated by the flood in Minot, which impacted more than 4,000 homes.
Earlier this year Senators Conrad and Hoeven introduced legislation calling for an additional $600 million in emergency CDBG funding to help communities in North Dakota and across the nation recover from natural disasters this year.
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