WASHINGTON – February 3, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Senator John Hoeven has called on Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan to extend to 36 months the period of eligibility for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for homeowners to repair their homes following the 2011 flood in Minot.
In 2011, Hoeven worked to secure CDBG funding to help reimburse Minot homeowners for home repairs. Under the federal register, however, eligibility extended only 12 months from the city’s disaster declaration, which occurred on May 20, 2011. Many people in Minot postponed repairs to their homes until after the city’s final flood protection plan was approved in April of 2012 because there was a significant potential they would be acquired by the city for future flood control.
Following is a letter Senator Hoeven sent to Secretary Donovan requesting the waiver for Minot homeowners:
January 30, 2014
The Honorable Shaun Donovan
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street SW
Washington, DC 20410
Dear Secretary Donovan,
I write today in support of the City of Minot, North Dakota’s request to extend the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding’s reimbursement timeframe to 36 months for homeowners with qualified expenditures resulting from the City’s record-setting flood event in 2011. While significant progress has been made to address many aspects of the disaster, there is still much work to be done.
As you recall, Minot has received two separate allocations of CDBG-DR funding. The first allocation did not allow for any reimbursement to individual citizens for rebuilding their homes. During the second round, we worked with you to include the reimbursement provision for homeowners in the Federal Register. Subsequently, the City has allocated $5,000,000 in their Action Plan to reimburse homeowners up to $10,000, granted they provide receipts to verify that funds were spent on rebuilding.
As published, the Federal Register allows for these CDBG-DR reimbursements during a 12 month period from the official declaration of the disaster on May 20, 2011. Only after the flood waters receded on August 1, 2011, the City of Minot initiated several engineering studies and conducted numerous public hearings held to develop the area’s redevelopment strategy. Subsequently, the City’s Action Plan was approved on April 12, 2012 – almost 11 months after the official flood declaration. During this time, many homeowners refrained from starting repairs because there was a good potential their properties would be acquired by the City for future flood control. Due to this uncertainty, many residents did not even begin rebuilding until after Action Plan was finalized. Many deserving flood victims remain ineligible for any reimbursement because of this 12 month regulation.
Accordingly, I support the City’s request and encourage you to approve the CDBG-DR reimbursement extension to 36 months. Thank you for your consideration of this request.