In order to aid communities and accelerate disaster recovery for those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, HUD has announced a package of 19 regulatory and administrative waivers for the following Community Planning and Development (CPD) programs: The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program, and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program.
According to HUD, this waiver package represents the largest collections of regulatory and administrative waivers ever issued by the Department at one time. State and local grantees located in major disaster declared areas can now access a waiver through a new simplified notification process. HUD’s flexibilities include:
- An abbreviated public comment requirement on changes to a grantee’s community redevelopment plans. Upon notification, HUD will reduce the customary 30-day comment period to seven days.
- Waiver of the normal communication requirements due to destroyed communications networks. Grantees are allowed to determine what constitutes reasonable notice and opportunity to comment.
- Suspension of normal rules to enable CDBG grantees to replace affordable housing units that were lost as a result of the hurricanes and flooding.
- Suspension of the cap limiting CDBG expenditures for public services to 15 percent.
- Temporarily allowing CDBG grantees to pay for additional support services for individuals and families affected by (e.g. the provision of food, emergency shelter, case management and related services to help residents in declared-disaster areas).