The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development’s (HUD) Sandy Program Management Office (PMO) has issued a report tracking progress on the Sandy Rebuilding Strategy. The Rebuilding Strategy, released by the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force in August 2013, includes a long-term plan that guides Sandy Supplemental spending, drives regional coordination, and makes communities more resilient to future disasters.
“Much work remains to be done, but HUD is committed to providing communities with the necessary assistance to keep helping homeowners and businesses move forward, and to ensure a complete recovery,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “Through our Sandy Recovery Office, and our leadership role on Rebuild by Design, we continue to maintain a strong regional presence, and will continue to work with grantees and interagency partners to build more resilient communities.”
The report tracks progress on seven goals that are important to the long-term rebuilding of the region in the most economically efficient, ecologically robust and innovative ways possible. In addition to progress on these critical policy recommendations, the Administration has provided assistance to nearly 300,000 persons/households and small businesses, marking a 33 percent increase from last year. Further, including the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the Administration has made more than $30.1 billion available to grantees, representing a 53 percent increase from last year.
►Sea Level Rise Tool: FEMA, CEQ, the USGCRP, NOAA, and USACE worked together to create a Sea Level Rise interactive web-based map and a sea-level rise calculator with localized data that allows citizens and planners to assess risk up to 100 years in the future.
►Build America Transportation Investment Center at the Department of Transportation: The Center will serve as a one-stop shop for state and local governments, public and private developers and investors seeking to utilize innovative financing strategies for transportation infrastructure projects.
►Community Development Financial Index: The CDFI Index assists help State and local housing programs to identify opportunities to leverage funds and develop public-private partnerships by providing a comprehensive list of certified, proven lenders that offer financial assistance, technical assistance and training, and that already engage in housing or small business lending.
►SBA HUBZone: SBA has proposed statutory changes to HUBZone so they can better target hundreds of small, disadvantaged businesses competing in the marketplace and improve access to federal procurement opportunities for Hurricane Sandy rebuilding.
►Flood Insurance Advocate: FEMA is in the process of creating a Flood Insurance Advocate position who will educate property owners about flood risks, flood mitigation, and ways to reduce flood insurance rates.
►FEMA’s Community Planning and Capacity Building Office Partnered with the Council on Foundations: This partnership is building capacities for New York and New Jersey to leverage philanthropic and non-profit funding collaboratives, allowing the states more ability to fill resource gaps to support sustained recovery efforts.
►Sandy Program Management Office: The PMO provides transparency for the public on the progress of recovery, and accountability for federal agency partners, by providing detailed information on the progress of the supplemental funding, and quarterly reports on the implementation of the Rebuilding Strategy recommendations. You can find more here.
In total, the Rebuilding Strategy identified 69 specific recommendations across these broad goals as well as specific agencies to lead the implementation of each of them. Since the publication of the Rebuilding Strategy, the Obama Administration has continued working across departments to move the recommendations forward and deliver on their commitments to the region.