The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced a package of 27 regulatory and administrative waivers aimed at helping communities in New Jersey and New York to accelerate their recovery from the remnants of Hurricane Ida. Today’s announcement, following the pattern of similar waivers issued earlier this month for communities initially hit by Hurricane Ida, represents one of the largest collections of regulatory and administrative waivers ever issued by the Department at one time.
“HUD is doing everything in its power to ensure that our response to the devastation of Hurricane Ida meets the magnitude of the crisis,” said Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “With these waivers, we are giving our state and local partners the flexibility they need to more expeditiously recover and rebuild from the storm.”
The regulatory and administrative relief announced today covers the following HUD programs: The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program, Continuum of Care (CoC) Program, and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program. To expedite the use of these funds, HUD’s state and local partners can now access a waiver through a new simplified notification process. HUD’s flexibilities include:
HUD is allowing for an abbreviated public comment requirement on changes to a grantee’s community redevelopment plans. Upon notification, HUD will reduce the customary 30-day comment period to seven days. This temporary allowance balances the need to help local communities more quickly while continuing to provide reasonable notice and opportunity for citizens to comment on the proposed uses of funds.
The remnants of Hurricane Ida disrupted communications networks. Therefore, HUD is waiving the normal communication requirements and allowing these grantees to determine what constitutes reasonable notice and opportunity to comment.
This storm caused extensive damage and destruction to the housing stock in certain impacted areas. To accelerate new housing construction, HUD is suspending normal rules to enable CDBG grantees to replace affordable housing units that were lost as a result of the heavy rain and flooding.
HUD recognizes that affected citizens may require additional time and effort to execute their recovery plans. Consequently, HUD will suspend a cap limiting CDBG expenditures for public services to 15 percent. HUD will temporarily allow CDBG grantees to pay for additional support services for individuals and families affected by the remnants of the hurricane. Services could include, but not be limited to, the provision of food, emergency shelter, case management and related services to help residents in declared-disaster areas until long-term recovery resources become available.