HUD Archives: News Releases

Release No. 08-26-2010
Mary Merchant
(601) 965-4700 ext. 2335
For Release
August 26, 2010

$312 million awarded to 13 States through HUD's Disaster Recovery Enhancement Fund

JACKSON - U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today awarded $5.4 million to the State of Mississippi to reduce the human, physical, and economic toll of future disasters. The grants announced
today are provided through HUD's Disaster Recovery Enhancement Fund (DREF), a total of $312 million in funding
that is intended to encourage states to undertake activities and long-term strategies that focus on reducing
damages from future natural disasters.

In the past two years, HUD allocated more than $5.6 billion in disaster recovery funding through its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to 13 states, including more than $6.2 million to the State of Mississippi. The DREF was established to support the long-term recovery following dozens of natural disasters in 2008. As a result of
having received CDBG funds for those disasters, these 13 states were eligible to receive additional allocations based on the significant investment they've made by targeting their CDBG funds to disaster mitigation.

"An ounce of prevention today can spare communities a world of hurt tomorrow," said Donovan. "We're making a serious investment in our future by making certain that when disaster strikes, the impacted communities in these states can weather the storm."

Disaster mitigation, like those that qualify for funding through the DREF, are a sound investment. According to an independent study by the National Institute of Building Sciences, every dollar spent on disaster mitigation activities saves taxpayers $4 in future disaster recovery expenses. The State of Mississippi invested more than $5.4 million in disaster mitigation which translates into a total anticipated return on investment of nearly $22 million.

The purpose of the DREF is to reward states that invested CDBG disaster recovery funding in activities that reduce risks from future disasters. HUD recognizes that while these types of activities are often more expensive in the
short-term, they dramatically cut recovery costs over the long-term. To help assist with the additional cost of mitigating future risk, DREF funds can be used toward projects meeting unmet disaster recovery needs, and those that include:

  • Buyout payments for homeowners living in high-risk areas;
  • Optional relocation payments to encourage residents to move to safer locations;
  • Home improvement grants to reduce damage risks (property elevation, reinforced garage doors and windows,
  • Improving and enforcing building codes; and
  • Developing forward-thinking land-use plans that reduce development in high-risk areas.

HUD is awarding DREF grants to the following states:

State DREF Allocation
Iowa $84,126,989
Texas $67,949,391
Louisiana $32,487,882
Florida $26,616,675
Illinois $23,517,970
Indiana $23,208,985
Wisconsin $15,276,319
California $15,000,000
Puerto Rico $12,000,000
Mississippi $5,438,712
Missouri $5,000,000
Kentucky $500,000
Georgia $480,000
Total $311,602,923


HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; 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 at and


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