President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, chaired by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, recently released a rebuilding strategy to serve as a model for communities across the nation facing greater risks from extreme weather and to continue helping the Sandy-affected region rebuild. In addition to the recommendations that are directly linked to Sandy Supplemental funding and rebuilding in the New York-New Jersey region, the plan also includes recommendations that, if implemented, will improve our ability to withstand and recover effectively from future flood-related disasters across the country. This includes 69 policy recommendations, many of which have already been adopted, that will help homeowners stay in and repair their homes, strengthen small businesses and revitalize local economies and ensure entire communities are better able to withstand and recover from future storms.
The Rebuilding Strategy includes several sections dedicated to the use of Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds. One recommendation would require grantees to use CDBG-DR funding to support public and HUD-assisted multi-family housing, as well as subsidized and tax credit- assisted affordable housing with recovery and risk mitigation efforts. The plan also prioritizes making housing units – both individual and multifamily – more sustainable and resilient through smart recovery steps including elevating above flood risk and increased energy efficiency.