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Sen. Ted Cruz Urges the Department of Housing and Urban Development to End Delay of Hurricane Harvey Mitigation Funds

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) last week sent a letter to Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Marcia Fudge expressing concern over HUD’s disapproval of the Texas General Land Office’s (GLO) Action Plan Amendment and the delay in Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) funding to communities affected by Hurricane Harvey and other natural disasters.

In the letter, the Sen. Cruz states:

“In August of 2017, Hurricane Harvey decimated the state of Texas, dumping nearly 60 inches of rain, claiming 68 lives and causing an estimated $125 billion worth of damage.

. . .

Despite a historic response from Congress nearly four years ago—providing $28 billion in Community Development Block Grant disaster recovery funding for Hurricane Harvey and other disasters—survivors all across the state of Texas are still waiting on [HUD] mitigation funding.

. . .

HUD’s disapproval [of GLO’s Action Plan Amendment] will only further delay this critical funding from reaching communities across the state and delay the start of projects that will help protect Texans from future disasters.”

Read the full letter HERE.

BACKGROUND:

In April of 2018 HUD allocated $4.383 billion to Texas for “mitigation activities” as part of the $28 billion in CDBG funding Congress appropriated in the Bipartisan Budget Act in response to Hurricane Harvey and other natural disasters.

In September of 2019, more than two years after Hurricane Harvey, HUD published the rules for the use of the CDBG-MIT funds. In March of 2020, HUD approved GLO’s Action Plan which included a plan for allocating the mitigation funding to grantees across Texas through a variety of programs. After awarding $1.2 billion in mitigation funding for more than 108 projects in 47 counties across Texas, in November 2021, GLO submitted an amendment to the original Action Plan requesting approval to revise the allocation for several its programs, including increasing the amount provided to the Regional Mitigation Program from $500 million to $1.16 billion and providing $750 million directly to Harris County. On January 7, 2022 HUD disapproved GLO’s Action Plan Amendment on the grounds that it is “substantially incomplete” because it did not meet the required assessments.

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