CDBG-Disaster Relief Money to Drive Long-Term Recovery in Tuscaloosa, Ala

Article excerpt

In January, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $16,634,702 in federal disaster relief money to for Tuscaloosa, Ala. The city is receiving the money through the community development block grant--disaster relief program (CDBG-DR) in the wake of a devastating mile-wide tornado that hit Tuscaloosa in April 2011, killing 52 people, and creating a 5.9-mile path of destruction.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox called the funding a "tremendous step" in the city's recovery from the storms.

"I think [the CDBG-DR funding] is a commitment by the federal government and by HUD in particular to make the type of investment we need for a long-term recovery," Maddox said.

The CDBG-DR funds can be used for the acquisition of property, economic development, housing, infrastructure, social services, and administrative activities and planning.

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Mayor Maddox has identified three primary areas where the funding would be allocated in the tornado recovery zones--housing, infrastructure and the leveraging funds to match other federal and social service agency grants.

In September 2011, the Tuscaloosa City Council unanimously adopted the Tuscaloosa Forward Strategic Rebuilding Plan, which goes beyond simple rebuilding and recovery to present a forward-looking vision for land use, sustainability, housing and infrastructure in Tuscaloosa. …