07HurricaneNorth Carolina Emergency Management, the governor’s office and the Department of Commerce have allocated nearly $35 million in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds for Hurricane Matthew recovery projects in Cumberland County. The county and city of Fayetteville will co-host a public meeting to inform residents about proposed projects being considered for the program on Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Department of Social Services office building, 1225 Ramsey St.

In early October 2016, torrential rain from the hurricane caused devastating flooding in much of Fayetteville and Cumberland County. One week earlier, a record rainfall caused catastrophic, localized flooding and damages that were made worse by the hurricane.

The city and county have identified unmet needs in the areas of housing, economic development, infrastructure, resiliency, planning and capacity. An estimated $10.5 million in damages to owner-occupied homes is the biggest share of Community Development Block Grant money being made available to individuals locally. New construction funds in the amount of $13.5 million were allocated.

The disaster recovery effort will assist residents who qualify under HUD’s low-to-moderate income requirements who experienced significant damage as the direct result of Hurricane Matthew. The city and county have been informed that funds can be used only for specific disaster related purposes. The law requires that grantees submit plans detailing their proposed needs as well as eligibility criteria.

The top priority includes projects to repair owner-occupied homes, rental housing and to provide shelter for the homeless. Funds will also make it possible for local governments to establish a homeowner recovery program, small rental repair program, multifamily rental housing, small business recovery assistance, a day center and a homeless shelter. Assistant County Manager Tracy Jackson and Assistant City Manager Jay Reinstein said this collaborative effort will assist low- and moderate-income residents who experienced major to severe damage as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

It is also important to assist small businesses and farmers who are trying to get back on their feet and to rebuild community and support services facilities. The city and county submitted their initial plan to the state this month, and the formal proposal is due Sept. 15. The city of Fayetteville estimated authorized damages at $23.3 million. Cumberland County government estimated $11.4 million in damages.

The public meeting to inform citizens who may qualify for the proposed CDBG-DR projects will be held in the DSS auditorium, 1225 Ramsey St., Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.


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