Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) on Friday announced that almost $312 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds have been allocated to Alabama for recovery from Hurricanes Sally and Zeta, which battered the coastal areas of the state back in the fall of 2020.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) allocated the CDBG Disaster Recovery funds totaling $311,732,000 to Alabama as part of the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2022. The award by Congress of the federal funds will be managed by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA).

“Natural disasters like Sally and Zeta may test our resolve, but I have seen the resiliency of Alabama and her people time and time again as they recover, rebuild and come back stronger than ever,” Ivey said. “These funds will provide a boost to long-term recovery efforts in the communities affected by these disasters.”

A majority of the funds are designated by HUD for the areas most impacted by the hurricanes, which include all of Mobile and Baldwin counties as well as the 36502 zip code in western Escambia County. HUD made this determination based on data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

ADECA is still in the early stages of developing a plan to guide the grant process for these funds.

In the coming months, the agency will lead public meetings to gather feedback as part of the plan’s development. The final plan will include details on the types of recovery projects, eligibility for local governments and the application process. After the plan is approved by HUD, ADECA will begin the application process.

Further information regarding the funds and the planning process will be posted to the CDBG Disaster Recovery page of ADECA’s website.

“Community Development Block Grants do so much to help Alabama communities complete needed projects that they otherwise would not be able to afford, and that need becomes even greater when a community is recovering from an unexpected natural disaster,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is pleased to play a role with Governor Ivey in this funding process, and we will work in the coming months to develop a clear action plan for deploying the grants in an effective manner.”

Hurricane Sally made landfall on Sep. 16, 2020, in Gulf Shores as a Category 2 hurricane. Hurricane Zeta made landfall on Oct. 28, 2020, in Louisiana and quickly crossed near coastal Alabama. Both storms caused significant wind and storm-surge damage.

Congress routinely issues block grant assistance to help with long-term recovery needs following a major natural disaster. ADECA is the state agency that receives the block grants and then is tasked with getting them to where they are needed while following all of the reporting, eligibility, and other requirements given to it by the federal government.

A large portion of Baldwin and Mobile Counties lie in a hurricane impact area. Despite this clear and present danger, south Baldwin County has become a destination location for people moving into the state. 

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