LYONS - Despite icy temperatures on Thursday, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper along with Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet visited areas hit hard by the September floods.
They started in Lyons, where HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced nearly $63 million in block grants would go toward homeowners to help with flood relief.
"These much needed funds will help flood-impacted communities make critical repairs and improvements to infrastructure, housing and help to boost economic development," Gov. Hickenlooper said. "We want to thank Secretary Donovan and HUD for this investment to help communities and businesses rebuild from the floods."
They will also go towards businesses and infrastructure.
"Today, we make an initial down payment toward helping homeowners and businesses get back on their feet," Donovan said. "While we can never truly replace the homes and businesses that were lost because of this natural disaster, it's my hope that these funds will help Coloradans move forward with rebuilding their lives and their communities."
The recovery funds are provided through HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program to support long-term disaster recovery efforts in areas with the greatest extent of 'unmet need,' primarily in Boulder, Weld and Larimer counties.
"As communities across Colorado continue to recover from September's flood, these disaster recovery funds will ensure that victims do not fall through the cracks. I will keep fighting to ensure that these Community Development Block Grant funds are used wisely to supplement the assistance FEMA, the Small Business Administration and other agencies have provided to Coloradans," Senator Udall said. "These HUD funds are especially important for uninsured homeowners, many of whom did not live in a high-risk flood area but saw their home destroyed nonetheless."
Based upon the most currently available disaster data, 80 percent of the recovery funds announced today must be spent in the most impacted counties of Boulder, Weld, and Larimer. HUD anticipates that as more damage data becomes available, the Department will provide the State of Colorado additional recovery funds in 2014.
"Coloradans have made significant progress rebuilding and repairing in the aftermath of the floods this fall, but there's still a lot of work to be done," Senator Bennet said. "CDBG resources will help a wide range of recovery efforts, from individual home owners and businesses repairing damaged property, to cities and towns reconstructing roads, bridges, and public spaces. This funding is critical for a number of small Colorado towns overwhelmed by this disaster to help finance rebuilding costs. This is another big step forward as Colorado builds back better than before."
HUD's CDBG-Disaster Recovery grants are intended to confront housing, business and infrastructure needs beyond those addressed by other forms of public and private assistance. Using a combination of data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA), HUD identified particular counties in Colorado with the greatest extent of damage to housing, businesses and infrastructure.
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