Alabama to Receive Additional Disaster Recovery Funding

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Gov. Robert Bentley and First Lady Dianne Bentley leave the remains of what was once a pawn shop on Fifteenth St. in Tuscaloosa on Thursday, April 29, 2011. (Governor's Office, Jamie Martin)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT)  – Nearly $120 million in additional funding will help Alabama communities in the ongoing recovery from the spring 2011 severe weather outbreak.  Governor Robert Bentley was informed of the allocation by Shaun Donovan, Secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Gov. Bentley surveys damage in downtown Cullman, Thursday, April 28, 2011.

Gov. Bentley surveys damage in downtown Cullman, Thursday, April 28, 2011.

“There are still several communities suffering from the long-term effects of the 2011 storms,” Governor Bentley said.  “This funding will go a long way in helping those communities recover.  I am very appreciative of HUD for recognizing the long-term needs of people in our state, and we will continue working together to help our communities rebuild.  I also want to thank each member of Alabama’s congressional delegation for their hard work in helping us secure additional funding.”

Governor Bentley visited Washington, D.C., on September 12 of last year and met personally with Secretary Donovan to seek additional funding for long-term, unmet recovery needs.  The Governor also sent a letter to President Obama last September, alerting the President to concerns regarding a formula that had been used by HUD when calculating earlier disaster recovery funding.

The new allocation announced by HUD Wednesday will help with housing, business and infrastructure needs that have not been met through other forms of private or public assistance.

As part of the allocation, $49,157,000 will be directed to the State of Alabama to support recovery in various communities throughout the hardest-hit areas of the state.  The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, the designated agency for long-term community recovery, will administer the state’s direct allocation and will work with communities to fund local recovery projects.

HUD will also provide $43,932,000 directly to the City of Tuscaloosa; $17,497,000 to the City of Birmingham and $9,142,000 to Jefferson County for ongoing recovery efforts.

The total allocation announced for the state on Wednesday is $119,728,000.

HUD will develop guidelines on how the new allocations can be used.  State and local grantees will then develop action plans detailing how the funding will help people in the affected communities.

Funding is provided through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program.  Alabama’s allocation is part of $514 million allocated among nine states that have experienced large-scale natural disasters over the last two years.

The funding announced Wednesday is in addition to nearly $56 million that HUD allocated to Alabama recovery efforts in January of last year.

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