Cmr. George P. Bush statement regarding $46.4 million in recovery funds for three South Texas and Rio Grande Valley Counties
HUD awards $46,400,000 for 2018 flooding in Cameron, Hidalgo and Jim Wells Counties
AUSTIN — Today Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush issued the following statement in reaction to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) issuance of $46,400,000 in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding for Cameron, Hidalgo and Jim Wells Counties in response to significant flooding in 2018.
"Today HUD issued much-needed federal disaster recovery dollars in response to the devastating flooding in South Texas last June," said Commissioner Bush. "While many parts of the RGV were still under water, my team and I were on the ground meeting with local officials to coordinate our efforts to advocate for federal recovery resources. Now that these funds have been allocated to Texas, we will continue working with both local and federal officials in anticipation of HUD guidance on how we will be able to use these funds. I am committed to advocating for residents and we are ready to help our South Texas and Rio Grande Valley communities recover."
Following a series of storms that inundated South Texas with flooding, Commissioner Bush took members of his disaster recovery team to the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) to observe the devastation and work with local officials in affected counties on how to navigate the federal disaster recovery process. Commissioner Bush visited Raymondville, McAllen, Weslaco and Harlingen and met with elected officials as well as response and recovery staff from several RGV communities.
For Texas to receive these funds, HUD must publish rules governing the use of the recovery dollars in the Federal Register, which enables the Texas General Land Office (GLO) to move forward drafting a state action plan. Once drafted, the plan must be translated in to multiple languages and made available for a mandatory public comment period. After the comments are responded to, the state action plan is then sent to HUD for final approval. The federally-mandated process takes a minimum of four months and has taken longer than six months in many cases.
President Donald J. Trump signed the Supplemental Appropriations Act for Disaster Relief in October 2018, which authorized $1.68 billion in CDBG-DR funding for “disaster relief, long-term recovery, restoration of infrastructure and housing, and economic revitalization in the most impacted and distressed areas resulting from a major disaster declared in 2018.” Included in the total allocation are funds for communities recovering from Hurricane Michael, Hurricane Florence and devastating wildfires in California.
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