After Harvey, Reps. Culberson and Green Introduce Bill to Promote Partnerships with Nonprofits to Revitalize Houston
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressmen John Culberson (TX-07) and Gene Green (TX-29) introduced the Tools on Our Local Streets (TOOLS) to Rehabilitate Communities Act to target Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) funds to nonprofit organizations for the revitalization of neighborhoods, housing rehabilitation, and natural disaster recovery. Yesterday, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), along with Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), introduced the Senate companion of the TOOLS to Rehabilitate Communities Act.
“My top priority is ensuring that every Houstonian has the resources and support they need to recover and rebuild from Hurricane Harvey,” said Rep. Culberson. “This bill expands the way in which every community can use CDBG funds, and creates new partnership opportunities to support our neighbors as they rebuild their homes and lives after last year’s storm. Houston is a critical domestic and international economic engine, and I have been working tirelessly to provide funding and common-sense solutions so that our city will emerge from Harvey stronger than before.”
“The spirit of Houston Strong has not faded and nor will it as Texans continue to work together to rebuild our communities following Hurricane Harvey,” said Rep. Green. “The bill we introduced today is a commonsense idea that will give local nonprofits the ability to increase their efforts and help revitalize the communities that are damaged by natural disasters. Countless numbers of people and businesses have spent time and resources on serving their neighbors. It’s our job in Congress to ensure that they can continue to do so.”
“This bill would provide additional flexibility for localities by allowing them to partner up with nonprofit organizations, especially helping recovery efforts when a disaster happens,” said Sen. Cornyn. “By bringing nonprofit resources and expertise to the table, these grants can be more effective in making America’s neighborhoods better places to live and work.”
- Strengthens Community Development Public-Private Partnerships with Nonprofit Organizations. The Tools on Our Local Streets (TOOLS) to Rehabilitate Communities Act makes nonprofit organizations (that provide tools, equipment, or other resources used to complete community development or rehabilitation projects) eligible for funding through Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). CDBGs provide federal assistance to state and local governments in support of local neighborhood revitalization, housing rehabilitation, and community and economic development. CDBGs are also used to help localities recover from presidentially-declared disasters.
- Increases Awareness of New Opportunity. This legislation requires the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to notify current CDBG grant applicants and awardees of the new opportunity.
- Requires HUD to Identify Improvements for Community Development Partnerships with Nonprofits. This bill requires the HUD Secretary to report on current opportunities for partnerships to complete community development, revitalization, or rehabilitation projects and existing challenges.