| HUD No. 06-047
May 1, 2006
HUD APPROVES $74.4 MILLION PLAN TO SPUR POST-HURRICANE REDEVELOPMENT IN ALABAMA
CDBG funding to focus on housing, infrastructure and jobs
BIRMINGHAM, AL - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today announced he is approving a $74.4 million Alabama plan to help hard-hit communities in the state implement their rebuilding strategies following Hurricane Katrina. Today's approval means that local communities can accelerate their plans to restore housing, infrastructure and jobs in some of the hardest hit areas of the state. Jackson made the announcement in Birmingham with Congressman Spencer Bachus during a conference promoting HUD grant opportunities.
Alabama's recovery plan will be funded through HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. President Bush declared 22 counties in Alabama major disaster areas in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. In Mobile County alone, more than 1,000 homes were severely damaged or destroyed. In addition, Hurricane Katrina devastated Alabama's coastal employment base, including the state's signature shrimp industry.
"This funding will go a long way toward helping some of Alabama's hardest hit communities to ramp up their recovery efforts," said Jackson. "Whether it's giving a boost to local job markets or helping families to rebuild their homes, HUD's in this for the long haul."
Sen. Richard Shelby said, "I am pleased that the Department of Housing and Urban Development has approved Alabama's plan for using Community Development Block Grants to help rebuild following Hurricane Katrina. This significant funding will help the affected counties meet their short-term and long-term rebuilding needs and is a critical component in overall Gulf Coast recovery. I commend those who have helped to expedite this process to identify a workable and appropriate plan for this substantial allocation of resources."
Rep. Bachus said, "This CDBG funding will provide significant resources for our storm-affected communities. More importantly, the CDBG structure provides the flexibility to assure that critical community and citizen input is sought."
The Alabama plan approved today gives $74.4 million to address the significant long-term rebuilding challenges of the state's most severely affected communities. In Bayou La Batre and other parts of Mobile County, for example, rebuilding damaged or destroyed infrastructure and housing will require the CDBG program's comprehensive, adaptable approach.
Communities seeking support for housing construction must describe how they will produce homes that are high quality, durable, energy efficient and mold resistant. To ensure the availability of affordable housing, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) will also require local communities to detail how they will consider the specific housing needs of their low- and very low-income citizens.
To read the full text of Alabama's approved action plan, visit HUD's website.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development, and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.