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Richland County to receive $23.5 million in flood grants

Richland County will receive $23.5 million for flood recovery efforts, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced.

The CDBG-Disaster Recovery funding is part of $157 million awarded to South Carolina to assist with unmet housing, economic development and infrastructure needs following the devastating October 2015 floods.

“We’re extremely appreciative Richland County is receiving this allocation of CDBG-DR funds to help our residents,” said Council Chairman Torrey Rush. “We will continue working with our citizens along our Blue Ribbon Committee to determine the best use of all disaster recovery funding to help move our County forward.”

The Blue Ribbon Committee is a group representing neighborhoods, non-profits, business community, civic and faith-based groups, elected officials and other organizations. The committee was established to review flood recovery projects and make recommendations to County Council to help guide how best to use the flood relief funds.

The CDBG-DR funding may be used to cover expenses that other funding sources (i.e., flood insurance and FEMA hazard mitigation funding) are unable to cover. The County still must develop an action plan to submit to HUD with specific programs and projects that meet certain HUD criteria. The funding may be used for HUD eligible projects and programs to include, but not limited to the following:

  • Acquire or rehabilitate homes and businesses in flood impacted areas,
  • Improve County roads, culverts and drainage infrastructure to ensure they can handle future flood events,
  • Improve public facilities and services, and
  • Assist businesses in flood impacted areas.

The award is separate from FEMA funding and requires more than half be used to help low-to moderate income residents. The City of Columbia and Lexington County also will receive funding. The $156,664,000 in HUD grant funding will be distributed as follows:

  • Richland County – $23,516,000
  • Lexington County – $16,332,000
  • City of Columbia – $19,989,000
  • South Carolina – $96,827,000

“After disaster strikes, the most important task is getting folks back to a safe home quickly, so they can return to their daily lives,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “With this $157 million disaster recovery investment, we uphold our commitment to helping these communities recover stronger and be better prepared for future disasters.”

Congress appropriated $300 million to address the unmet recovery needs in communities that were most affected and distressed by a major flooding disaster in 2015. Communities in South Carolina and Texas, which will also receive recovery funds, were determined to have significantly higher unmet needs than jurisdictions impacted by other eligible disasters last year. With these funds, HUD is also encouraging grantees to incorporate resilience measures into their local action plans to ensure communities are more prepared for the next storm.

HUD allocates CDBG-Disaster Recovery funds based on the best available data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration disaster loan programs to identify the areas of greatest need in the impacted region. Following a Presidential disaster declaration, CDBG-DR funds may be made available to states, local governments, and insular areas that have significant unmet recovery needs and the capacity to carry out a disaster recovery program.

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