Hoeven: Additional Resources For Minot Flood Recovery, Protection Available on Competitive Basis
Senator Briefs Local Leaders on New HUD Disaster Recovery Grants, Works to Advance Souris River Basin Study
MINOT, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today briefed Minot city and county officials on a new Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program that could help with the acquisition and demolition of homes that were abandoned following severe flooding in 2011. In addition, the program could potentially provide additional Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to help the city meet their 25 percent match to state funding on acquisition of properties for future flood protection. The senator also outlined steps he is taking to advance an important International Joint Commission (IJC) study of the Souris River Basin.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who has been nominated to serve as Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director, informed Hoeven of the new program at a meeting this week to discuss North Dakota flood disaster issues and his pending confirmation vote.
“Minot and the region are coming back better than ever after the historic flooding of 2011, but we still have a ways to go,” Hoeven said. “This new HUD program could provide the resources we need to take a big step forward by helping to remove abandoned homes to make way for green spaces with a double use - water retention and recreational areas.”
The National Disaster Resilience Competition will make $1 billion available on a competitive basis to increase the safety and security of communities that have experienced natural disasters to help them rebuild and increase their resilience to future disasters. The funds will enable eligible communities to access resources that help them both recover from the previous disaster and make plans, decisions, and investments that make them more resilient to the next disaster.
The $1 billion comes from uncommitted Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding from the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. Approximately $180 million has been set aside specifically for the Hurricane Sandy region and $820 million will be available on a competitive basis. All states and local governments that experienced a presidentially-declared major disaster in 2011, 2012, and 2013 are eligible to compete.
Applicants will need to show how their proposed action relates to the disaster from which they are recovering. HUD will ensure that geographic diversity is a consideration in the selection of participating communities.
International Joint Commission Souris River Board Study
River management is an important element of flood protection, Hoeven said. Souris River management is governed by the IJC’s Souris River Board. That includes control of the Boundary, Rafferty and Alameda reservoirs in the Province of Saskatchewan, along Lake Darling in North Dakota.
All are important components of flood management infrastructure on the Souris River, but they were severely challenged throughout the basin during the 2011 flood event. Consequently, the board recommended that the IJC initiate a study to review Souris River management to reduce the risk of future flooding.
As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Hoeven has worked to make $250,000 available to help fund the study, and the state has committed $300,000. Hoeven this week spoke with Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer to determine the status of the Canadian share so that the study can begin. Doer said he will speak with Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall in the coming weeks to determine the status of Canadian funding for the IJC study.
“The IJC report is critical to planning flood protect because it will give us the kind of basin-wide information we need to forge a thoughtful plan for long-term flood protection for the length of the river,” Hoeven said. “With a Canadian contribution in place, this important work can begin.”
Update on Federal Flood Assistance
Hoeven also reviewed federal relief to Minot in grants, loans and direct assistance to date, which amounts to more than $652 million for a range of flood recovery and prevention activities.
NATIONAL DISASTER RESILIENCE COMPETITION
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is making $1 billion in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Funding (CDBG-DR) funding available for a new program called the National Disaster Resilience Competition. The funding has already been appropriated in the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013.
Funds will be distributed as following:
- $180 million specifically for the Hurricane Sandy region
- $820 million for the National Disaster Resilience Competition
All states and local governments that experienced a presidentially-declared major disaster in 2011, 2012, and 2013 are eligible for the competition.
All successful applicants will need to show how their proposed action relates to the disaster from which they are recovering.
HUD will ensure that geographic diversity is a consideration in the selection of participating communities.
These funds will enable eligible communities to access resources that help both recover from the previous disaster and make plans, decisions, and investments that make them more resilient to the next disaster.
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