Cooper and Bipartisan Congressional Delegation Discuss Next Steps on Hurricane Matthew Funding Cooper met with members of the North Carolina delegation in Washington

Washington, D.C.

Governor Roy Cooper encouraged continued collaboration to secure additional federal funding for Hurricane Matthew recovery in a meeting held yesterday with members of North Carolina’s Congressional Delegation. Gov. Cooper met with Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis and Representatives Adams, Butterfield, Foxx, Holding, Hudson, Price, McHenry, Meadows, Pittenger, Rouzer, and Walker.

“Communities in North Carolina are still struggling to rebuild and recover from Hurricane Matthew, and I remain committed to working with our North Carolina Congressional Delegation to push for more funding,” said Governor Cooper. “Too many people still can’t return to their homes, offices, schools, farms or places of worship due to the damage done by Matthew. I’m encouraged by the bipartisan cooperation among our Congressional representatives to continue pressing this issue. The Trump Administration and Congressional leaders must make our state’s urgent need for help a priority.”

Gov. Cooper discussed the need for federal hurricane recovery funding with both the Senators and the Congressional delegation. In addition to discussing strategies around disaster relief, they talked about North Carolina’s acute needs for housing, small business, and agricultural recovery.

Hurricane Matthew caused an estimated $4.8 billion in damage in Central and Eastern North Carolina. The recent $929 million request was a very conservative and highly targeted request to address critical needs in safe, affordable housing, infrastructure losses and health needs. Of that $929 million, $600 million was requested for unmet needs in housing. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration’s Housing and Urban Development agency (HUD) allowed for only $6 million. Remaining Congressional requests for crop damage, business repair and public buildings were ignored.

In December, HUD allocated an initial $198 million down payment for long-term disaster relief in addition to some funding for other federal and state projects. Emergency funding from FEMA is also flowing into affected communities. As is common practice with major disasters, that initial allocation was followed by a more comprehensive request addressing pressing unmet needs.

The Governor’s Office is also working with state and local emergency management officials to compile damage assessments for all 50 counties that were declared federal disaster areas because of Hurricane Matthew, half of the counties in the entire state. The Governor and his staff have engaged in ongoing discussions with members of the congressional delegation, particularly Senator Tillis, Representative Price and Representative Rouzer, to determine what state and local needs were most appropriate to include in the supplemental federal request.

In response to the funding shortfall, Governor Cooper expressed his disappointment in a letter last week that called for more robust aid, especially in the form of housing block grants from HUD in the upcoming budget process.