Monday, September 14, 2020

N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency Expands Programs and Delivery of Funding as State Marks Two-Year Anniversary of Hurricane Florence

Sep 14, 2020

Two years after Hurricane Florence, the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) remains focused on getting help to the people who need it most in storm-impacted areas of the state. Since September 2019, NCORR has maintained an on-pace status with spending U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant—Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds, while also expanding programs to rebuild North Carolina communities and make them more resilient in the face of future disasters.

“We are committed to helping people rebuild their lives in areas hit hard by multiple storms in recent years,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “We have made significant progress on recovery, but the increasing number and intensity of storms shows the importance of building back smarter and stronger.”

Exactly 500 days after Hurricane Florence made landfall, HUD issued the Federal Register Notice outlining requirements for use of the $542 million in Florence CBDG-DR funds appropriated to North Carolina. Advance work by NCORR during HUD’s delay meant North Carolina had the required action plan ready for submittal to HUD within 24 hours of the Federal Register Notice publication. In April, North Carolina became the first among states with 2018 federal disaster grants to receive action plan approval, which allowed the state access to these funds.

In June, NCORR launched the Homeowner Recovery Program to assist homeowners with repairs, reconstruction and/or elevation of storm-damaged homes. To ensure that the maximum number of people can qualify for assistance, eligibility requirements for the program were designed with as much flexibility as possible while still complying with federal regulations. The state has received 2,302 applications for the Homeowner Recovery Program to date, but the application period will remain open at least through the end of the year. Homeowners who sustained damages due to Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Matthew, or both storms can apply online for the ReBuild NC Homeowner Recovery Program or call 833-ASK-RBNC for more information.

In total, North Carolina has invested more than $3.5 billion in state and federal funding to help survivors of Hurricanes Florence and Matthew. A detailed fact sheet on recovery by the numbers is available online. Recovery funding awarded through NCORR includes:

  • $183.7 million in federal CDBG-DR funds awarded to homeowners, small businesses and local governments, including: $32.6 million for affordable housing projects; $13.7 million for 16 infrastructure projects in seven counties; $91 million in grant awards to 1,190 storm impacted homeowners; 444 completed home construction projects with 229 more underway.
  • $36.4 million in grants and zero-interest loans to help local and tribal governments.
  • $109 million in CDBG mitigation funds allocated for the Strategic Buyout Program to get people out of harm’s way.

In late 2018, Governor Cooper established NCORR in the Department of Public Safety at a time when much of North Carolina had experienced a one-two punch from Hurricanes Florence and Matthew in the span of only two years. The office administers nearly $1 billion in HUD disaster recovery and mitigation funding, as well as state disaster recovery funds. NCORR manages programs statewide that include homeowner recovery, infrastructure, affordable housing, resiliency, strategic buyout and local government grants and loans. To learn more about NCORR programs, visit the ReBuild.NC.Gov website.

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