Washington, DC - Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) today voted in support of H.R. 3288, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which included a provision in the omnibus that waives the restrictions on Community Development Block Grant funding from being used as local match requirements for other federal funding in areas affected by Hurricane Ike and all other federally declared disasters in 2008.
“Those who lost their homes and businesses in this disaster need increased commitment and cooperation from all levels of government. There is still more that we can do to provide assistance for our communities but this is a good step toward supporting those that were hardest hit,” said Representative Green.
This funding will be particularly important for Galveston and the surrounding areas whose tax base were reduced by Hurricane Ike and have no other way to generate funds to provide for the match. Disaster areas generally have to raise a certain percentage of the funding in order to receive federal dollars, and community development block grants are normally restricted from being used to match those funds. In the case of Hurricane Ike, this legislation waives that restriction.
“Representative Chet Edwards has taken a lead role in crafting the emergency hurricane funding as the senior Texas member on the House Appropriations Committee,” said Green. “He has worked closely with Houston congressional delegation and State Representative Craig Eiland to ensure that the voice of those hardest hit would be heard at the federal level.”
“There is vast damage that still exists today along the Texas Gulf Coast, so it is vital that communities have access to Federal funding for ongoing relief efforts. The provision included in today’s bill will help our Texas communities that need it most,” said Congressman Chet Edwards, the senior Texas member on the House Appropriations Committee. “The victims of Hurricane Ike, who lost their homes, businesses and their livelihoods, need federal, state, and local authorities to continue to work together diligently to rebuild and recover.”
“State Representative Craig Eiland has done such good work in the legislature to help Galveston that made it easier for Congressman Edwards and I to get additional federal assistance for the Texas coast areas affected by Hurricane Ike,” said Rep. Green.
Texas has had more than $14,000,000,000 in hard losses from Hurricane Ike that include damages to vital infrastructure, roads, crops, schools, utilities and social services in which these additional CDBG funding could help offset.
# # #