WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an effort to help West Virginians recover from the June 2016 flood, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) is urging U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro to direct a portion of the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) funding to victims in West Virginia. West Virginia initially received a down payment toward flood relief funding after the Senate passed a short-term government funding bill in September. In a letter to Secretary Castro, Senator Capito is requesting funding from the $1.8 billion CDBG-DR appropriation approved by Congress and signed into law last week.
“Congress acted to address the unmet disaster recovery needs in West Virginia and other states by passing last week’s continuing resolution. It is critically important that the Department of Housing and Urban Development utilize a portion of that CDBG-DR appropriation to meet West Virginia’s disaster recovery needs,” wrote Senator Capito, who is a member of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations subcommittee.
The full text of the letter is available below and here.
Dear Secretary Castro:
West Virginia was devastated by catastrophic flooding that struck the state on June 23, 2016. Today, as we head into winter nearly six months after the flood, many West Virginia residents continue the process of rebuilding their homes and their communities.
As a member of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations subcommittee, I have strongly advocated for funding for the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery program in order to provide resources to help disaster stricken communities in West Virginia. On September 29, 2016, President Obama signed H.R. 5325, the Continuing Appropriations and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017 which provided $500 million to the CDBG-DR program. I am pleased that West Virginia received an initial down payment towards flood recovery from this September appropriation.
It was clear, however, that the September appropriation was a first step, and not sufficient to meet West Virginia’s significant unmet recovery needs. On December 9, 2016, I voted for H.R. 2028, the Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations, Act 2017 – legislation that President Obama signed into law the following day. Section 192 of this law provides an additional $1.8 billion for the CDBG-DR program.
As you no doubt heard during your meeting with West Virginia’s Governor in October, my state continues to need federal resources to rebuild the infrastructure destroyed by the June 2016 flood. The Office of Management and Budget recognized in its November 21, 2016 letter to the Appropriations Committee that West Virginia continues to have significant needs associated with the flood that have not been fully addressed. I appreciate your department’s assistance in making that request. Additionally, the Senate Appropriations Committee specifically mentioned West Virginia’s need for disaster recovery resources in Chairman Cochran’s December 6, 2016 statement announcing the introduction of the government funding resolution.
Congress acted to address the unmet disaster recovery needs in West Virginia and other states by passing last week’s continuing resolution. It is critically important that the Department of Housing and Urban Development utilize a portion of that CDBG-DR appropriation to meet West Virginia’s disaster recovery needs.
Thank you for the assistance you have already provided to West Virginia communities in their recovery efforts and for your consideration of this request for much needed additional support.