By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) announced on Wednesday in a written statement that the state of Alabama will receive nearly $120 million in community development block grant disaster recovery funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Sewell announced that $49.1 million will be awarded to the state of Alabama to support long-term disaster recovery throughout the hardest-hit disaster areas. Sewell announced that HUD will also provide $43.9 million directly to the City of Tuscaloosa, $17.4 million to the City of Birmingham, and $9.1 million to Jefferson County. This funding will enable each community to continue to make necessary repairs and improvements in infrastructure, housing, economic development projects, and emergency preparedness.
Gov. Bentley said, “There are still several communities suffering from the long-term effects of the 2011 storms. This funding will go a long way in helping those communities recover. I am very appreciative of HUD for recognizing the long-term needs of people in our state, and we will continue working together to help our communities rebuild. I also want to thank each member of Alabama’s congressional delegation for their hard work in helping us secure additional funding.”
Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D) from Selma said, “As the cities of Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Jefferson County and the state of Alabama are continuing to rebuild, this funding is critically important to ensuring that our communities can be made whole again. I am pleased that HUD has allocated this funding to assist so many Alabamians who are still in need of relief after the destruction of the April 2011 tornadoes. I remain committed to working with my colleagues in Congress, this administration, and local and state officials to ensure that our communities rebuild bigger and better than ever.”
Birmingham Mayor William Bell said, “This funding will go a long way in continuing the work in Pratt City and other areas around the City of Birmingham. As we approach the 2 year anniversary of the devastating tornadoes of April 27th, we want those who were impacted to know that we will continue to work for more funding, more opportunities and more progress in that area. Our thanks go out to HUD, Congresswoman Sewell and Congressman Bachus for helping us secure these funds.”
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said, “In the past 23 months, the citizens of Tuscaloosa have demonstrated resiliency, courage and a confident hope in coming back from the tragic tornado of April 27, 2011. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with us has been Congresswoman Sewell, who has been a relentless advocate in ensuring that our community needs were met. The City truly appreciates her efforts and the efforts of the entire Alabama delegation in making this significant investment into our recovery.”
Governor Bentley visited Washington, D.C., on September 12 of last year and personally lobbied HUD Secretary Donovan for additional funding for the long-term, unmet recovery needs. The Governor also sent a letter to President Obama last September with concerns regarding about formula that had been used by HUD when calculating earlier disaster recovery funding.
The money will enable each community to continue to make necessary repairs and improvements in infrastructure, housing, economic development projects, and emergency preparedness.
The April 2011 tornados were devastating to communities throughout Alabama.