American Samoa Delegate Aumua Amata announces disaster recovery funds
American Samoa Delegate Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R) announced the United States territory is welcoming $23 million in federal funds through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This grant is through the special appropriations passed by Congress in response to major disasters, including Cyclone Gita. (That’s the same bill that included Delegate Amata’s amendments for $18 million in nutrition assistance this year.)
Amata thanked Secretary Dr. Ben Carson and HUD for following through with these funds for American Samoa. This $23 million grant will be put to use to continue helping the islands recover from the long term damages of Cyclone Gita. She also congratulated 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 US Army Corps of Engineers. These funds fill gaps in the more immediate disaster assistance and focus on long term recovery aspects.