HUD Invests Today in What Can Happen Tomorrow

HUD wants to protect Chicago homeowners from natural disasters that haven’t happened yet.
Last week, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) granted almost $312 million to 13 states to “reduce the human, physical and economic toll of future disasters.”
Illinois is slated to get $23,517,970 of it.
The grants, which are being provided through HUD’s Disaster Recovery Enhancement Fund (DREF), are to help states set up long-term strategies that focus on reducing damage and expense from future natural disasters.
“An ounce of prevention today can spare communities a world of hurt tomorrow,” said U.S. HUD Secretary Shaun 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.”
Over the last two years, HUD has provided more than $5.6 billion in disaster recovery funding to these 13 states through its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).
Now, those states are eligible to get additional money because they used those CDBG funds for disaster mitigation.
Disaster mitigation refers to steps taken to lessen the impact that natural disasters have on people and property.
According to a study by the National institute of Building Sciences, every dollar spent on disaster mitigation activities saves taxpayers $4 in future disaster recovery expenses.
States can use DREF funds toward:
*Buyout payments for homeowners who live in high-risk areas
*Optional relocation payments to encourage those residents to move to safer locations
*Home improvement grants so homeowners can take steps to reduce the risk of damage, such as reinforcing doors and windows and elevating property
*Improving and enforcing building codes
*Reducing development in high-risk areas through the development of land-use plans
The states HUD is awarding grants to:
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