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State receives $212M in disaster recovery funds

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded more than $212 million for long-term natural disaster recovery efforts in California.

The Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery money will address seriously damaged housing, businesses and infrastructure predominantly from wildfires and mudslides in the state in 2017.

The $28 billion grant nationwide also will go to eight other states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands that suffered damage from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Of the $212.3 million to California, $124.1 million is dedicated to unmet needs and $88.2 million is for mitigation efforts to protect communities from predictable damage from future events, HUD officials said.

The Community Development Block Grants for disaster recovery support housing redevelopment and rebuilding, economic revitalization and infrastructure repair. The bulk of the money must be spent in the “most impacted” areas identified by HUD.

HUD will issue administrative guidelines shortly for the use of the funds for long-term recovery, particularly in housing.

HUD spokesman Eduardo Cabrera said the HUD grant specifically addresses the wildfires in Northern and Southern California depending on where the “most impact” occurred.

The HUD grant is the beginning of a planning process and more specific notices will be sent to California counties that will receive the recovery funds.

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