WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved the Emergency Disaster Aid Package (H.R. 4667) in response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
Following a Nov. 13 letter from Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) and the entire North Carolina Congressional delegation to House leadership, approximately $375 million of the funding approved Thursday will be made available to North Carolina and other states still recovering from previous disasters.
“Most folks don’t realize Lumberton, Fayetteville, Elizabethtown and other southeastern North Carolina communities are still rebuilding following Hurricane Matthew,” said Congressman Pittenger. “Knowing the House would vote this year to help Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, I made sure House Leadership was aware of the unmet needs in North Carolina. Thank you to Speaker Ryan and House Appropriations Chairman Frelinghuysen for responding to our request.”
The new funding will be distributed through Community Development Block Grants focused on buying out homes in flood zones, elevating homes above flood level, and other projects to mitigate future disasters. North Carolina and other states will be responsible for working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to apply for the new funding.
Robeson, Cumberland and Bladen counties were among the North Carolina counties most impacted by Hurricane Matthew. Typically, federal funding formulas are weighted in favor of the most impacted regions.
Congressman Pittenger is scheduled to host HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson in North Carolina in January, and will be active in advocating on behalf of Hurricane Matthew victims.
Nearly 98,000 homes and 19,500 businesses were damaged by Hurricane Matthew in North Carolina. To date, Congressman Pittenger has helped secure $1.65 billion in federal funding for recovery efforts. Much of that money is released to the State of North Carolina, which is then responsible for distributing it to affected counties and municipalities.
The Emergency Disaster Aid Package (H.R. 4667) passed the U.S. House of Representative on Thursday by a bipartisan vote of 251-169.