Fact Sheet: Permanently Authorizing HUD’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program in Housing, Infrastructure


  • 42 U.S.C. 5301 et seq. authorizes the basic CDBG program which provides funds to local governments and states to implement housing, public facilities, economic development, and public service activities.
  • Over the past 30 years, Congress has appropriated more than $100 billion for long-term disaster recovery using the CDBG framework.
  • This funding, known as CDBG-DR, has always been implemented pursuant to appropriations language which makes changes to the underlying CDBG statutory requirements.
  • The lack of a permanent and predictable structure for CDBG-DR has reduced the effectiveness of CDBG-DR funding and delayed long-term recovery.

Why Is Permanent Authorization Desirable?

  • Lack of statutory authorization prohibits the establishment of permanent regulations for disaster recovery.
  • As a result, HUD operates CDBG-DR through a maze of Federal Register (FR) Notices (more than 80 since 2001).
  • The development and issuance of FR Notices create unnecessary delays and confusion as to requirements that apply to specific CDBG-DR appropriations.
  • S. 1686 adds a new section (42 U.S.C. 5323) to codify disaster recovery in CDBG authorizing language.
  • This language authorizes HUD to issue permanent regulations for the program and to do so within stated timeframes (proposed rule within 6 months of enactment and a final rule within one year of enactment).
  • It also directs HUD to publish CDBG-DR allocation methodology within 30 days of enactment and to take public comment before issuing methodology as a final rule.

Check out BPC Action’s full fact sheet—in partnership with the Council of State Community Development Agencies and Enterprise—that details bipartisan efforts around CDBG-DR authorization, including key provisions and considerations in legislation, and answers FAQs.