Amata Radewagen

12/03/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/03/2019 13:33

Amata Welcomes $23 Million HUD Grant

Washington, D.C. - Tuesday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata is welcoming federal funds for American Samoa through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This $23 million grant is part of the federal government's long term disaster recovery process following 2018's severe Storm Gita, and is through the special appropriations passed by Congress in 2019 in response to major disasters.

'This is a significant grant that can make a big difference for some important needs in American Samoa, and these funds result from the major disaster bill passed by Congress this year,' said Aumua Amata. 'I want to say a special thank you to Secretary Dr. Ben Carson and HUD for following through with these funds for American Samoa. This $23 million grant will be put to good use to continue helping our islands recover from the long term damages of Cyclone Gita. Congratulations to Governor Lolo and his team on this effort and the projects that are in the works.'

HUD provides flexible grants through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery program to help cities, counties, parishes, states or territories recover from presidentially declared disasters, especially in low- and moderate-income areas. The grant recipient creates a plan for the use of the grant in conjunction with HUD.

According to HUD, these funds must be used for 'necessary expenses related to disaster relief, long term recovery, and restoration of infrastructure, housing, and economic revitalization.'

Congress appropriated funding for the CDBG program for Disaster Recovery grants to rebuild disaster-affected areas and bring crucial seed money to stimulate the recovery process. CDBG funds a broad range of activities that can assist communities and neighborhoods that otherwise might not recover due to limits on resources.

HUD's Disaster Recovery grants supplement disaster programs of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Small Business Administration, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. These funds fill gaps in the more immediate disaster assistance and focus on long term recovery aspects.