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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 05-424



Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Funds Program Guidelines

[35 Pa.B. 1589]

   The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has allocated to the Commonwealth $2,528,243 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery Funds for recovery efforts related to:

   1.  Tropical Storms Henri and Isabel which occurred between September 15 and 23, 2003 (FEMA-1497).

   2.  Severe storms and flooding which occurred between July 27 and August 25, 2004 (FEMA-1538).

   3.  Tropical Depressions Frances which occurred between September 8 and 9, 2004 (FEMA-1555) and Ivan which occurred between September 17 through October 1, 2004.

   This funding is for local governments to use for disaster relief, long-term recovery activities and mitigation, except for those activities reimbursable by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or available through the Small Business Administration.


   This disaster recovery funding is available to any unit of local government in this Commonwealth, including those that qualify as direct Federal entitlement communities or urban counties under the CDBG program.

   Grantees may use these CDBG Disaster Recovery Funds for efforts involving housing, economic development, infrastructure and prevention of further damage to affected areas. Examples of these activities include:

   1.  Buying properties in a floodplain and relocating residents to safer areas.

   2.  Relocation payments for people and businesses displaced by the disaster.

   3.  Debris removal not covered by FEMA.

   4.  Rehabilitation of homes and buildings damaged by the disaster.

   5.  Buying, constructing or rehabilitating public facilities such as streets, neighborhood centers and water, sewer and drainage systems.

   6.  Code enforcement.

   7.  Homeownership activities such as downpayment assistance, interest rate subsidies and loan guarantees for disaster victims.

   8.  Public services (generally limited to no more than 15% of the grant).

   9.  Helping businesses retain or create jobs in disaster impact areas.

   10.  Planning and administration costs.

Funding Priority and Grant Limits

   Based on recommendations of the State Recovery Task Force, the Department of Community and Economic Development (Department) will give priority consideration for funding to applications which address the repair and rehabilitation of housing units damaged by these events. This includes:

   1.  Owner occupied housing--repair and rehabilitation programs.

   2.  Renter occupied housing--repair and rehabilitation programs.

   3.  Clearance and demolition of housing units damaged beyond repair, including mobile home parks.

   4.  Other housing activities such as downpayment assistance, interest subsidy programs, payment of closing costs and loan guarantees for persons affected by the storms.

   5.  Relocation assistance for displaced persons.

   Applications for nonhousing related activities will also be carefully evaluated using the scoring criteria in the ''Review Process'' part of this notice.

   The minimum grant amount is $100,000 and the maximum is $500,000. The Department reserves the right to adjust these figures based on the applications submitted.

Application Process

   The following forms make up the application package for the Disaster Recovery Grant:

   1.  Single Application for Assistance.

   2.  General Application Description/Certifications.

   3.  A resolution of the local governing body authorizing the application submission.

   4.  Statement of Assurances.

   5.  Management Plan/Local Staff Capacity.

   6.  Activity Description--attached.

   7.  LMI Principal Benefit Determination.

   8.  CDBG Budget Summary.

   9.  Other Supporting Documents.

   10.  Waivers Granted to and Alternative Requirements for CDBG Disaster Recovery Grantees, published at 69 FR 72100 (December 10, 2004).

   Copies of the application package are available on the Department's website: Individuals can contact the Department at (717) 720-7403, (717) 720-7410 or

   Applicants should prepare a Single Application for Assistance. Key forms in the application package are item no. 6, Activity Description, and item no. 9, Other Supporting Documents, where the applicant should describe the impact the identified disaster had on the community, what the greatest remaining need for funding is, how the funds being applied for will alleviate the impact of the disaster, especially those of low and income families. Applicants should use the narrative portion of item no. 6, Activity Description form, to explain how their proposed project will be accomplished in a expedited manner. Applicants are encouraged to provide all the supporting documentation they feel is necessary. Applicants should also carefully read the 69 FR 72100 to fully understand the requirements and waivers that govern the use of these funds.

Review Process

   The Department will evaluate the applications submitted and make funding decisions based on the following considerations:

   1.  The documented impact on the community--30 points.

   2.  The activities proposed by the community to recover from the disaster--30 points.

   3.  The identified benefit to low and moderate income persons--30 points.

   4.  The ability to carry out the activities in a timely manner--10 points.

   Using the criteria, the Department will award funding to those communities who have identified the greatest disaster recovery need.

Program Requirements and Waivers

   The distribution of these Disaster Recovery Funds is subject to all the usual rules and regulations of the CDBG Program, but many exceptions apply and key ones are listed as follows:

   a.  The overall benefit criteria, normally 70%, is 50% for this program meaning that, at least 50% of the funds must be used for activities that benefit low and moderate income persons. The other 50% can be use for activities that eliminate slums and blight or meet an urgent need.

   b.  Consistency with the applicants Consolidated Plan is waived, but only until the first update to the consolidated plan.

   c.  Citizen participation requirements are replaced with an alternative that does not mandate public hearings but does require a reasonable opportunity for citizen comment and ongoing citizen access to how the grants funds are being used.

   d.  Payment of up to 100% of the housing down payment is allowed.

   e.  The antipirating clause is waived in a limited fashion, so that grantees can provide assistance using these funds, to any business that was operating in a designated disaster area between April 30, 2003, and September 30, 2004.

   f.  A limited waiver of the relocation requirements.

   g.  The one-for-one housing replacement requirement does not apply for low and moderate income dwelling units damaged by the disaster, or where the CDBG funds are used for demolition of housings units which are not suitable for rehabilitation.

   h.  A regulatory waiver allows the distribution of these funds by states to direct Federal entitlement communities and urban counties, entities that normally do not participate in the State CDBG program.

   Applicants are urged to review in detail 69 FR 72100 to fully understand these and other rule changes that apply.

Program Income

   Program income received by a local grantee as a result of disaster recovery grant activities can be retained by the grantee, with written Department concurrence, only if it is being used for the same activity from which the program income was derived.

Administrative Costs

   Communities applying for these funds can use 20% of the total amount of Disaster Recovery Grant funds awarded for administrative costs. The Department will not utilize its normal 2% for administrative costs.


   In allocating these funds, Congress requested quarterly reports using an online Disaster Recovery Grant Reporting system.

Matching Funds Requirement

   Each applicant is required to provide a match of 10% in non-Federal funds or its equivalent value, other than administrative costs, for any HUD disaster recovery grants received. The requirements of 69 FR 72100, included as part of the application package, list in detail those items that qualify as local match, as well as those that do not qualify.


   The deadline for local governments to submit an application for funding consideration is April 4, 2005.

   Applications should be submitted to the Department of Community and Economic Development, Office of Community Development--Disaster Recovery Grant, 400 North Street, 4th Floor, Commonwealth Keystone Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225 or

   To receive these funds, the Department must submit an action plan to HUD by April 30, 2005. Grant award notice to applicants will be made once notice is received from HUD.

Contract Period

   The contract period for spending these funds will be 48 months.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 05-424. Filed for public inspection March 4, 2005, 9:00 a.m.]

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