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brbrAfter Schumer Push for HUD Waiver, Town of Union Now Eligible to Use Millions in Disaster Relief Town Needed Swift Approval of Waiver to Unlock Previously Awarded Fed FundingbrbrFuture Community Development Block Grants Would Seek to Make Vital Repairs to Housing Public Infrastructure in Town of UnionbrbrSchumer: Town of Union Finally Has Long-Awaited Waiverbrbr


Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that he has helped secure a crucial waiver from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that will finally allow the Town of Union to utilize funding that was awarded to the community after severe flooding damage from Tropical Storm Lee. Without this waiver, critical disaster relief awarded through HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) disaster relief funding could not have been obligated to make vital repairs to the community. Now that the Town of Union will be eligible for CDBG grants, local stakeholders could see as much as $10.1 million flow into the community to repair damage from the storm.


"Residents in the Town of Union should not go another day without repairs to their community, a full year after Tropical Storm Lee tore through local neighborhoods," said Schumer. "I have fought tooth and nail to secure this waiver to unlock disaster funding previously awarded to the Town of Union from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. I will continue to fight tooth and nail so that the Town of Union can use this funding towards critical investments in infrastructure following the damage incurred after Tropical Storm Lee."



"The Town of Union is extremely grateful to Senator Schumer for his support of the Town's waiver request as well as his efforts to keep the review process on track," said Town of Union Deputy Supervisor Rose A. Sotak. "Without the waiver, a number of critical public facility and infrastructure projects, including repairs and potential improvements to the levee around the Westover neighborhood, the replacement of the Johnson City water treatment plant maintenance facility, and the installation of emergency backup generators at a major Village of Endicott water pumping facility, would not have been possible under the original grant requirements."




Schumer today helped secure a vital waiver that will lead to $10.1 million in CDBG disaster relief funding for the Town of Union to help recover from damage sustained during Hurricane Lee. Now that HUD has approved the Town of Union's waiver request, a majority of funding will go towards three proposed projects including the FEMA buyout program, which will acquire and demolish 176 flood damaged properties; the acquisition for redevelopment program which will aid in the redevelopment of the 27acre BAE site, and towards investments in infrastructure like levee repairs and public water treatment facilities.  With all CDBG funding, recipients must ensure that funding meets specific HUD guidelines that show that it is going towards low and moderate income communities. Because the majority of damage that was sustained by Town is in areas that exceed the income requirements for low and moderate income communities, the Town of Union needed HUD to grant a waiver request before receiving final approval from HUD on their grant application so the Town can actually spend the funding awarded to them in areas that faced the most damage from Tropical Storm Lee. Senior HUD officials have been working in coordination with Schumer, the HUD Buffalo office, the Town of Union to find resolution on a waiver since February 2012.




"More than a year has passed since Tropical Storm Lee caused unspeakable damage and destruction to public and private property in the Town of Union and throughout the Southern Tier," Schumer continued.  "The community and leaders in the Town of Union have worked hard to rebuild and have made tremendous progress, but much more remains to be done. This waiver and subsequent grant money from HUD is key to assist the Town of Union with critical projects to repair and improve infrastructure and public facilities, and will help restore quality of life for its residents and conditions for current businesses and future growth."



Now that the waiver is approved, HUD can proceed with the approval process for the Town of Union's grant application. Town officials worked with Schumer because they were concerned that efforts had been stalled to grant the waiver request and that they were not going to have their overall funding application approved in time to fund programs that they would like to get off and running including the FEMA buyout program, which the Town of Union has indicated has a deepseated interest among homeowners in the community. 




The CDBG program works to ensure decent affordable housing, to provide services to the most vulnerable in our communities, and to create jobs through the expansion and retention of businesses. CDBG is an important tool for helping local governments tackle serious challenges facing their communities. The CDBG program has made a difference in the lives of millions of people and their communities across the Nation.