WASHINGTON – Representatives James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Tom Rice (R-S.C.) this week introduced legislation to revise the standards for eligibility for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) grants for communities after major disasters.
This legislation corrects an imbalance in the standards for an area to be considered as having suffered sufficient concentrated damages following a disaster from a minimum threshold dollar amount to any zip code for which the median household income is less than 75 percent of the national median household income.
“It is often in times of crisis that inequities in our country are most pronounced. This was especially true in South Carolina after many rural and disadvantaged communities suffered significant losses during the 2015 100-year flood,” said Congressman Clyburn. “I am pleased to join this effort to ensure low-income communities are not discriminated against in the allocation of disaster recovery funding merely because their damages don’t meet an arbitrary minimum dollar amount.”
“South Carolina faced challenges with how the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) allocations were weighted during past disasters, such as after Hurricane Florence. Currently, the HUD formulas favor large counties and discriminate against small counties, regardless of damages sustained during a major disaster,” said Congressman Rice. “I’m proud to work across the aisle with Congressman Clyburn on this important correction that will better help disadvantaged areas of South Carolina receive our due federal disaster funding in the future.”
“Communities across our nation face unique challenges in the aftermath of natural disasters. Modifying the CDBG-DR funding methodology is a great step towards more equitable recovery funding particularly in our state’s rural counties,” said South Carolina Chief Resilience Officer Benjamin I. Duncan II.
Read the bill here.