Grants Awarded for Showing Some Resilience

January 27, 2016 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

bourbon-street-character-1257860And now for the word of the day — “Resilience.” According to the dictionary, resilience means “the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed or stretched” or “the ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity or the like.” You may think I’m using resilience in response the East Coast showing resiliency in recovering from the monstrous blizzard we had this weekend; however, I’m really referring to a recent announcement that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Rockefeller Foundation provided $1 billion in grants to 13 states and communities under the National Disaster Resilience Competition. The 13 recipients were selected from 40 finalists.

Under this program, HUD will provide funding for resilient housing and infrastructure projects to states and communities that were impacted by major disasters between 2011 and 2013. The awarded states are California, Connecticut, Iowa, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee and Virginia, while communities receiving awards are New York City, New Orleans, Minot, N.D., Shelby County, Tenn., and Springfield, Mass. The grants “will make communities stronger, more resilient and better prepared for future natural disasters such as floods and wildfires,” said HUD Secretary Julian Castro. “The National Disaster Resilience Competition exemplifies how government can work hand-in-hand with the philanthropic and private sectors to create lasting partnerships that will allow us to together face the challenges of tomorrow.”

For example, the city of New Orleans will receive $141.2 million to establish its first “Resilience District” in the Gentilly neighborhood. HUD funding will support several integrated initiatives including coastal restoration, workforce development, and creating parks and green streets aimed at making this neighborhood a national model for retrofitting post-war suburban neighborhoods into resilient, safe and equitable communities of opportunity.

The resilience grants are funded through Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery appropriations provided by the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. They are designed to promote risk assessment, stakeholder engagement and resilience planning in communities where the risks of disaster are projected to increase substantially due to climate change.

Good luck to those receiving these awards. Hopefully these funds will go a long way in providing the resilience they seek.

Let us know what you think about these grants and if they will help improve the resiliency of these states and communities.

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