WASHINGTON, DC – May 25, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today applauded a revised $1.7 billion disaster recovery plan by the State of Texas which proposes to dedicate more federal funding to higher need areas of East Texas and to devote more resources toward housing activities. The funding, provided through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, supports the long-term disaster recovery in the wake of Hurricanes Dolly and Ike in 2008. In addition, HUD is encouraged that the State has resolved a fair housing dispute with local advocates who complained that an earlier disaster recovery plan would distribute HUD funding in a discriminatory manner.
“I am encouraged Texas has offered its residents a more thoughtful, fair and data-driven plan that recognizes where the greatest needs are,” said Donovan. “Once the public comment period for this revised program is completed, we look forward to reviewing the State’s final plan so we can put these resources to work as quickly as possible.”
HUD’s Assistant Secretary of Community Planning and Development Mercedes Márquez said, “This proposed plan places significantly more emphasis on the unmet needs of East Texas. We intend to continue working closely with our partners on the State level to ensure the long-term recovery of the people and places that were most impacted by these hurricanes.”
Last year, HUD asked the State to apply a more thorough analysis of unmet housing, infrastructure, and economic development need. The revised plan, which is now undergoing public comment, shifts $208 million to areas with greater documented need and $152 million toward housing activities.
Texas Low Income Housing Information Service and Texas Appleseed also filed complaints with HUD alleging that the State of Texas, through its Departments of Rural Affairs and Department of Housing and Community Affairs, violated the Fair Housing Act and the Housing and Community Development Act. Specifically, the complainants allege that the State proposed to distribute federal disaster recovery funds in a manner that discriminated based on race, color or national origin. The parties have now entered into a conciliation agreement, approved by HUD, which provides for extensive relief, including requiring that funds be re-allocated to affirmatively further fair housing; that the State produce an updated Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing (“AI”) for public comment and approval; and provide more fair housing training of sub-recipients of federal funding.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.