On April 10, HUD announced Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding for states and jurisdictions which were affected by natural disasters for years 2015-17, primarily for unmet needs in areas that were affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017. The funds will address damaged housing, businesses, and infrastructure.
The $28 billion is a record high and comes from congressional appropriations made by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123). Almost half of the amount, over $12 billion, is directed at major disasters in 2017, which includes not just hurricanes but wildfires as well. Almost $16 billion will go towards supporting mitigation activities (actions aimed at preventing damage in future events) in areas which experienced Presidentially declared disasters since 2015.
At the top of the list, Puerto Rico will receive over $10 billion in CDBG-DR awards based on remaining 2017 unmet needs as well as over $8 billion towards mitigation activities. Texas will receive over $4 billion in mitigation awards from 2017 disasters and Louisiana has been awarded over $1 billion for mitigation arising from 2016 disasters. A full list of grantees is provided in the HUD press release.
The Congressional Budget Office recently released a budget outlook which increased the projected deficit from $563 billion in 2018, to now $804 billion. Reasons cited for the increased projection include the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (PL 115-97), a combination of increased spending caps for the next two years (PL 115-123) and the 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill (PL 115-141), and, to a lesser extent, the devastating year of natural disasters seen in 2017.