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HUD releases model programs for use by communities seeking CDBG-DR funding
The Department of Housing and Urban Development today released several model programs designed to help communities get CDBG-DR funds more expeditiously to residents struggling to rebuild or repair their homes.
By: CD Publications
According to Community Development Digest, an online news service covering community development funding and innovative initiatives nationwide, these programs can be adapted to a locality's unique needs and readily implemented so each community does not have to develop entire new programs on their own.
Community Development Digest (CDD) will report on more details of HUD's new initiative next week. To get these updates and more go to http://www.cdpublications.com/
The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, signed into law by President Obama on January 29, included $16 billion in CDBG-DR funding. HUD announced the first allocation totaling $5.4 billion to five states and the City of New York eight days later. HUD will announce additional allocations in the coming months. HUD has worked closely with state and local partners to identify opportunities to expedite this assistance.
The model programs announced today cover three likely areas of need that communities would use CDBG-DR funding to meet:
• Housing Rehabilitation:
• Housing Counseling: HUD is releasing a program guide that will support state and local governments using CDBG-DR funding to help affected homeowners connect with a reliable housing counselor in order to navigate the affordable options to rebuild, repair or relocate. More than 100 HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, with proper training and support, are available to help homeowners assess what they can afford, negotiate with insurance and mortgage companies, apply for affordable home repair loans and grants, and get their finances and their home stable and secure. With an investment of CDBG-DR funds, housing counselors would be able to provide this service free to homeowners and be an important safeguard against scammers that are unfortunately taking advantage of an already vulnerable population.
• Housing Buyouts: Buying out homeowners in particularly flood-prone areas can be a cost-effective option to reduce future risk. The model program announced today reflects the potential importance of such programs and the need to ensure that any such process is locally driven.
These programs could be funded with the first round of CDBG-DR funding or with subsequent rounds and could be used by state, local and county governments applying for CDBG-DR funding. HUD has worked closely with a range of federal, state and local stakeholders to develop these programs and is committed to working with them as needed to help communities meet their unique needs.