Community Development Block Grant Funds in Disaster Relief and Recovery [March 23, 2006] [open pdf - 59KB]
"In the aftermath of presidentially declared disasters, Congress has used a variety of programs to help states and local governments finance recovery efforts, among them the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Over the years, Congress has appropriated supplemental CDBG funds to assist states and communities recover from such natural disasters as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes. In addition, CDBG funds supported recovery efforts in New York City following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in Oklahoma City following the bombing of the Alfred Murrah Building in 1995, and in the city and county of Los Angeles following the riots of 1992. In response to those calamities, CDBG funds were made available for short-term relief efforts, mitigation actions, and long-term recovery, and to provide housing and business assistance, infrastructure reconstruction, and public services. Most recently, Congress has provided $11.5 billion in CDBG assistance to the five states (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) affected by the Gulf Coast hurricanes of 2005. The funds were included in the Defense Appropriations Act for FY2006 and are to be used for 'necessary expenses related to disaster relief, long-term recovery, and restoration of infrastructure in the most impacted and distressed areas.' Funds were allocated among the five states based on the degree of unmet housing needs and the degree of concentrated distress...This report provides an overview of the use of the CDBG program in disaster relief. It will be updated as events warrant."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33330