Community Development Block Grant Funds in Disaster Relief and Recovery [Updated May 6, 2008] [open pdf - 146KB]
"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 longterm recovery, and to provide housing and business assistance, infrastructure reconstruction, and public services. […] This additional appropriation brought the total amount of CDBG supplemental assistance for Gulf Coast recovery activities to $16.7 billion. It also included provisions that limit the amount states can use for administrative expenses to 5%; allow states to seek waivers of program requirements, except those related to fair housing, nondiscrimination, labor standards, and environmental review; sets aside $1 billion for housing rehabilitation and repair activities, including public and assisted housing; prohibits the use of funds for activities that are reimbursable by or made available by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the Army Corp of Engineers; and require states to develop and HUD to approve state recovery plans that give priority in the use of funds for infrastructure development and rehabilitation and the development and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33330