Two years after Hurricane Florence, more funds are released for recovery

Two years after Hurricane Florence, more funds are released for recovery
Some disaster relief groups are still helping cleanup damage from Hurricane Florence

RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - The North Carolina office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) has expanded programs and will deliver funds to help people who still need assistance in storm-impacted areas.

Since Hurricane Florence impacted North Carolina in September 2019, NCORR has allocated monies from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) fund to rebuild North Carolina communities and make them more resilient.

“We are committed to helping people rebuild their lives in areas hit hard by multiple storms in recent years,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “We have made significant progress on recovery, but the increasing number and intensity of storms shows the importance of building back smarter and stronger.”

Although it took HUD until 2020, exactly 500 days after Florence, to issue the Federal Register Notice outlining requirements for use of the $542 million in CDBG-DR funds for Florence recovery, North Carolina became the first among states with 2018 federal disaster grants to receive approval for disbursement of the funds.

In June 2020, NCORR launched the Homeowner Recovery Program to assist homeowners with repairs, reconstruction and/or elevation of storm-damaged homes.

Eligibility requirements were designed with flexibility to ensure those in need would qualify for assistance. To date, the state has received 2,302 applications.

The application window for the Homeowner Recovery Program remains open through at least the end of 2020. Homeowners who sustained damages from Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Matthew or both storms can apply online here or call 833-ASK-RBNC.

Recovery funding awarded through NCORR includes:

$183.7 million in federal CDBG-DR funds awarded to homeowners, small businesses and local governments, including: $32.6 million for affordable housing projects; $13.7 million for 16 infrastructure projects in seven counties; $91 million in grant awards to 1,190 storm impacted homeowners; 444 completed home construction projects with 229 more underway.

$36.4 million in grants and zero-interest loans to help local and tribal governments.

$109 million in CDBG mitigation funds allocated for the Strategic Buyout Program to get people out of harm’s way.

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