CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced $19 million for communities across West Virginia in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This funding is made available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Programs, which received additional funding in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) that was signed into law on Friday, March 27.
In addition to the single city awards, the state of West Virginia received $14,152,476 in HUD grants for COVID-19 funding.
“The most critical aspect of our response to the coronavirus outbreak is the speed in which we can bring life-saving aid to West Virginia,” Senator Capito said. “I am thrilled to see the funding through the CARES Act coming to our state so quickly. This funding will go directly to communities across West Virginia and provides flexibility so cities can decide how support is best distributed. I was a staunch advocate for this provision during our negotiations. With our state having an inflated high-risk population, it is crucial that we act now to protect the lives of countless West Virginians. Throughout our evolving situation, I continue to be in contact with our state’s healthcare professionals and agencies, small businesses, local leaders and individuals across the state to make sure everyone has the resources needed to prepare for and meet this crisis head-on.”
“After hearing from communities in West Virginia who couldn’t use their existing funds to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, I successfully urged Congressional Appropriators to temporarily lift the cap on public services within the CDBG fund in the third COVID-19 emergency funding package, the CARES Act, so that communities could use the funds for services like Meals on Wheels or meals for students impacted by school closures. This change is vital to communities providing their citizens with essential services during this unprecedented pandemic. These funds will also benefit our communities and their ability to support West Virginians with services. I will continue to do everything possible to ensure West Virginians have the resources and care they need during this pandemic. We must support our neighbors and come together as a state to care for one another during this difficult time,” said Senator Manchin.
$5 billion in funding for the CDBG program and $4 billion for the ESG program were included in the CARES Act, which President Trump signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020. The CDBG program is a flexible program that provides communities and states with funding to provide a wide range of resources to address COVID-19, such as services for senior citizens, the homeless, and public services. The ESG program addresses the impact of COVID-19 among individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and supports additional homeless assistance, prevention, and eviction prevention assistance.
In order to ensure resources are quickly deployed and meet the unique response needs to COVID-19, the CARES Act eliminates the cap on the amount of funds a grantee can spend on public services, removes the requirement to hold in-person public hearings in order to comply with national and local social gathering requirements and allows grantees to be reimbursed for COVID-19 response activities regardless of the date the costs were incurred.
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