COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANTS: MITIGATION

In 2018, the U.S. Congress allocated funding to help states and local governments impacted by disasters that happened from 2015 to 2017, mitigate or reduce the impact of future events in their communities. In August 2019, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the rules for how states and local governments can use Community Development Block Grant-Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) funds.

Based on damage from storms like the 2015 floods, HUD made $18.5 million in CDBG-MIT funds available to the City of Columbia.

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UNDERSTANDING MITIGATION

Mitigation helps communities lessen the impacts of disasters by reducing or eliminating the long-term risk of death, injury, property loss or damage, suffering and hardship.

Mitigation helps communities lessen the impacts of disasters by reducing or eliminating the long-term risk of death, injury, property loss or damage, suffering and hardship. While it is impossible to eliminate all risks, CDBG-MIT funds will help the community decrease future disaster risks, through coordination with State and local planning activities.

These funds provide an opportunity for the City to use this assistance in areas impacted by the 2015 floods to carry out strategic and high-impact projects that will help save lives and reduce future losses to homes, businesses and critical government facilities.

Note: This funding is separate from the HUD CDBG-DR funding that has been provided to the City for assistance to individual households. You can follow the CDBG-DR work at https://dr.columbiasc.gov

HIGHLIGHTED PROJECTS

The City has selected the following mitigation projects to be funded. These important improvements will strengthen the infrastructure of the city and will result in being better prepared to face future storms:

ACTION PLAN AND CITIZEN PARTICIPATION PLAN DEVELOPMENT

HUD released the Federal Register notice that specified the requirements for the mitigation funds on August 30, 2019. Based on risk assessment data, feedback from local partners and community input, the City developed the draft action plan, which outlines how the money will be used. After a 45-day public comment period, the City submitted the draft action plan and the required citizen participation plan to HUD for approval, which was granted on June 29, 2020.

As part of the Action Plan development process, the City held two public hearings. One was held before the Action Plan was posted for public comment to help inform the contents of the plan, and one was held during the 45-day public comment period.

PROGRAM POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

In order to carry out the CDBG-MIT infrastructure programs, the City has developed program policies and procedures that are based off of the federal regulations and requirements specified in the Federal Register Notice (FR-6109-N-02). These policies and procedures govern the operations of the program and the projects to be funded.

PROCUREMENT

The City of Columbia takes great pride in conducting all business in a fair and transparent manner. This is especially important in the procurement and purchasing of goods and services. All contractors are selected using a competitive process that follows local and federal procurement guidelines.

REPORTING

The City develops Quarterly Performance Reports (QPRs) that include information on how it is using CDBG-MIT funds. QPRs provide project names, descriptions, locations, and objectives, as well as funds budgeted and expended and numbers of low- and moderate-income residents who benefit from the use of these funds. QPRs are submitted via the Disaster Recovery Grant Reporting (DRGR) System and reviewed and approved by HUD before posting.

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