The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has officially announced a $1.1 billion allocation of Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds to support Lee County’s recovery from Hurricane Ian. Thursday HUD published a notice in the Federal Register detailing rules for use of the funds which sets the clock to get a plan in place ticking.
HUD’s Federal Register notice triggers an approximate six-month process to produce a HUD-approved plan for the use of the grant funds. HUD requires Lee County to build Implementation and Action Plans that are subject to program rules specified in the Allocation Announcement Notice and other federal regulations. As part of this process, Lee County will work with municipalities, community stakeholders and residents at-large to design grant-eligible programs that will ensure funding is distributed in the most impactful manner allowed.
Lee County Commissioner Kevin Ruane heads the Resilient Lee Task Force which is charged with coming up with the plan to spend that money. Ruane will be on Beach Talk Radio June 3rd to discuss this entire process.
CDBG-DR funds may be spent on a limited number of eligible activities related to impacts from Hurricane Ian that include housing, infrastructure, economic revitalization, public services and planning. At least 70% of the grant must be used for projects that benefit Low-to-Moderate Income households, which HUD defines as a family at or below 80% of Area Median Income. For example, in Lee County a single-person household would qualify at $47,700 or less per year, whereas the limit for total household income is $68,100 per year for a family of four.
Lee County’s Office of Strategic Resources and Government Affairs has prepared a timeline describing the necessary steps before HUD releases funding and has posted the timeline HERE.