Connecticut will receive an additional $65 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to bolster its Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts, bringing the total aid from the federal government over the last year to an unprecedented $500 million.
The aid was announced by Gov. Dannel Malloy in a statement Monday, the eve of the first anniversary of the hurricane. The $500 million will support recovery and relief efforts for residents, local education systems, small businesses, nonprofits and municipalities.
“Families across the state are still coping with the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy last year,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. “With the winter months again approaching, we need to ensure these families have the tools they need to fully recover and prepare for future severe weather.”
HUD had previously provided $71.82 million to help residents, businesses and communities recover and rebuild after the storm. The first allocation of funding was made based on unmet needs and applications for individual assistance from FEMA; this new funding allocation was distributed based on a formula driven by federal data and statistics detailing unmet need and public assistance, including damage to transportation infrastructure, in Sandy-affected states.
The state Department of Housing will develop an action plan to disburse the new funding, which will require approval from both the state legislature and HUD.
“One year later, it’s clear these communities continue to be challenged by the sheer scale of this devastating storm, requiring further investment to make certain these needs are met,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said. “These resources are making a difference helping individuals, families, and businesses to get back on their feet and come back stronger and more resilient than ever.”
Projects in Fairfield, New London, New Haven, and Middlesex counties and the Mashantucket Pequot tribal area are eligible for assistance. Eligible expenses are those not covered by insurance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or any other sources of funding. Specific work that is eligible includes:
- Structural repair or replacement of damaged property;
- Mitigation assistance to elevate homes and/or reduce the damage from future disasters; and
- Rehabilitation, modification and/or improvements to infrastructure and public facilities to address damage from the storm and to reduce the damage from future disasters.
“We continue to plan—and meet—aggressive timetables in order get these funds out to homeowners and businesses as fast as possible,” said Evonne Klein, housing commissioner. “We continue to accept applications and encourage those impacted by the storm to visit one of our intake centers or visit the Web site to learn about the many ways we can help.”
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said: “I commend the efforts over the past year to restore and repair our shoreline communities, but much work remains to ensure homeowners, businesses and municipalities have the resources they need to fully recover from the devastation of Superstorm Sandy.
“As storms like Sandy become the new normal, it is vital that we continue to invest in mitigation efforts to reduce future damages, emergency costs, injuries and hardships. Further, we must work to improve our systems and processes so that those in need receive the assistance they need when they need it most.”
The state recently opened four intake centers in East Haven, Fairfield, Milford and Norwalk to provide one-on-one assistance to homeowners. (Read more about the centers here.) The state’s official CT Recovers website provides information on assistance available to homeowners and businesses impacted by Superstorm Sandy from all state agencies.