HYDE-SMITH COMMITS TO MORE CDBG DISASTER RELIEF FUNDS FOR LONG-TERM MISS TORNADO RECOVERY
Miss. Senator Addresses Recovery Needs During Appropriations Panel Review of 2024 HUD Budget Request
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today committed to ensuring that Community Development Block Grant Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) assistance is available to help tornado-damaged communities in Mississippi despite the anticipated depletion of existing FY2023 funding.
Hyde-Smith, the ranking member on the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, used a subcommittee hearing on the FY2024 budget request for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to discuss the recovery needs for Rolling Fork, Amory, and other Mississippi communities that sustained major tornado damage in late March. HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge testified.
“Secretary Fudge, as I noted in my opening remarks, the recent storms and tornadoes in Mississippi have had a devastating impact on the town of Rolling Fork, Silver City, Egypt, Amory, across four counties, and many communities,” Hyde-Smith said. “We appreciate the President’s commitment to the people of Mississippi and the FEMA assistance that is already on the ground and making a difference. I also appreciate HUD rolling out the program waivers in its disaster response toolbox.”
“Although the data on unmet needs is still coming together, it’s never too early to think about the longer-term recovery needs of these communities and families,” said the Senator before turning to the allocation of CDBG-DR funds.
Fudge confirmed that $162 million remains of the $3.0 billion provided by Congress in FY2023 for CDBG-DR and that additional resources will be needed to meet the needs of disasters this year, including the Mississippi tornadoes.
“We do have $162 million remaining but we have yet to get all the information and data in from the storms in Florida and from other places. We know this $162 million is not going to go very far. We are generally in the ballpark of $3- to $4 billion for storms for ‘21 and ’22, and we don’t see ‘23 to be any different, especially as it has started out the way it has,” Fudge said. “Right now, those funds are allocated, but we will be coming to you for authorization as soon as we get data in from FEMA.”
Following the hearing, Hyde-Smith said, “I appreciate Secretary Fudge’s commitment to address the challenges facing Mississippians in recovering from the March tornadoes. There’s work to be done on the ground and there’s work to done here to make sure federal resources are available. I’m committed to getting that done.”
Regarding the overall FY2024 budget request for HUD, Hyde-Smith warned that the subcommittee will be hard pressed to fund all of the President’s $73.3 billion request, citing pending shortfalls in Federal Housing Administration and Ginnie Mae receipts.
“The Subcommittee faces the real prospect of a shortfall of at least $13 billion, just to maintain fiscal year 2023 program levels,” Hyde-Smith said.
“It is too early to know what our allocation will be, or even what a final Fiscal Year 2024 spending level will look like. However, it is clear we will need to make tough choices and that numerous proposals in the President’s budget request may not be accommodated. Instead, it will be important to try and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the programs we fund within the constraints we have to operate,” she concluded.