Disaster Block Grants: Factors to Consider in Authorizing a Permanent Program, Statement of John Pendleton, Director, Financial Markets and Community Investment, Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies, Committee on Appropriations, United States Senate   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the Highlights: "Legislation proposed over the years would permanently authorize CDBG-DR [Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery] or a similar program, but no proposal has been enacted. Since 1993, Congress has provided over $90 billion in supplemental appropriations through HUD [Department of Housing and Urban Development]'s CDBG [Community Development Block Grant] program to help communities recover from disasters. Just since 2001, HUD has issued over 100 'Federal Register' notices linked to these funds. Communities use these funds to address unmet needs for housing, infrastructure, and economic revitalization. HUD is one of approximately 30 federal agencies tasked with disaster recovery. This testimony discusses (1) challenges associated with the lack of permanent statutory authority for CDBG-DR and (2) factors to consider when weighing whether and how to permanently authorize CDBG-DR or a similar program. It is based primarily on GAO [Government Accountability Office]'s March 2019 and May 2021 reports on CDBG-DR (GAO-19-232 [hyperlink] and GAO-21-177 [hyperlink]) and GAO reports issued between February 2004 and June 2019 that identified factors to consider in making critical federal policy decisions. For those reports, GAO reviewed documentation on CDBG-DR and its observations of efforts to reorganize or streamline government, among other things."

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