By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Congressman Spencer Bachus (R) from Vestavia said that Alabama’s recovery from the devastating tornadoes in April 2011 will be aided by the release of nearly $120 million in additional federal disaster assistance.
U.S. Representative Bachus said, “Alabama and the communities in our part of the state have made great strides in rebuilding after the tornadoes, but many long-term needs remain. We had many neighborhoods, businesses, and in some cases communities that were completely wiped out and it has been a long road back for them. It is my hope that this assistance will help accelerate the recovery process and restore a stable housing and tax base in the communities most heavily impacted by the historic storms.”
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that $49.1 million in community development block grant (CDBG) money will be distributed directly to the State of Alabama. 80% of those funds will be directed to six counties including Jefferson and Tuscaloosa counties.
The City of Birmingham will receive $17.5 million. $43.7 million will go to the City of Tuscaloosa and Jefferson County is expected to receive $9.1 million under the package.
Bachus said that the funds were authorized by a disaster relief bill approved in January which he supported.
In his press release Bachus explanined that HUD addressed a discrepancy in the treatment of multi-family housing. Congressman Bachus raised that issue on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives back on June 25, 2012. Both Tuscaloosa and Birmingham’s Pratt City community sustained heavy damage to multi-family housing in the tornados that ripped through the heart of those communities. Bachus said that the multi-family housing was particularly disadvantaged by the discrepancy in the formula used to allocate relief aid.
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.”
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.”
The disaster recovery assistance announced last week is in addition to almost $56 million in storm relief aid that HUD approved in 2012.