Lawmakers had urged Administration to allow Colorado to distribute Marshall Fire recovery funds
DENVER — Today, U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet and Colorado U.S. Congressman Joe Neguse celebrated the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) decision to allow the State of Colorado to directly administer $6 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for recovery from the Marshall Fire.
In August, the lawmakers sent a letter to HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge urging her to approve the state’s waiver request to streamline the recovery process for communities rebuilding after the most destructive wildfire in Colorado’s history. Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs requested to waive the HUD rule that requires Boulder County to administer funds, instead of the state. This requirement would have strained the county’s limited resources and delayed recovery.
The Marshall Fire destroyed 1,086 homes in unincorporated Boulder, Superior, and Louisville. The state will allocate $6 million to help fire survivors rebuild their homes.
“We must help rebuild the communities impacted by the Marshall Fire. This HUD waiver will get funding faster to those who need it most,” said Hickenlooper.
“We greatly appreciate HUD’s flexibility and support on this matter,” said Bennet. “Every dollar we save by streamlining the process is another dollar for the survivors of the Marshall Fire as they continue to rebuild.”
“Over the past nine months, we’ve worked to ensure that our community has the federal resources necessary to recover and rebuild from the Marshall Fire, the most destructive fire in Colorado’s history. We’ve also partnered with Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper to secure administrative relief for our community at every turn, including expanded coverage for FEMA’s private property debris removal program. I’m grateful that the Department of Housing & Urban Development has provided additional relief by granting our request for a Community Development Block Grant waiver, which will enable the State of Colorado to administer these funds directly and streamline the recovery process. And we will keep working every day to ensure that federal resources are brought to bear as our community recovers from this unprecedented disaster,” said Neguse.
“Boulder County would like to express its gratitude to Senator Bennet, Senator Hickenlooper, and Congressman Neguse for their efforts to help streamline the Marshall Fire recovery process at a federal level,” said Boulder County Board of County Commissioners Vice-Chair Claire Levy. “Rebuilding a community after such a tragedy requires partnership working on all levels, and our congressional delegation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have delivered real and significant assistance for Boulder County.”
“Through the CDBG waiver, the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) will have access to additional federal funds to augment its Disaster Resilience Rebuilding (DRR) grant/loan program for Marshall Fire survivors and impacted households. Our agency is grateful to Congressional members Joe Neguse, Michael Bennet, and John Hickenlooper for their support of the DOLA waiver request to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) which now enables private nonprofit entities to receive and quickly disperse these funds to residents of Louisville, Superior, and unincorporated Boulder County,” said Rick Garcia, Executive Director at The Department of Local Affairs.