Tipton: We Must Ensure that Money for Disaster Recovery is Properly Spent
WASHINGTON D.C. -- During a hearing in the House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, Vice Chairman Scott Tipton (CO-03), stressed the importance of guaranteeing that every federal dollar allocated for disaster recovery within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is properly spent.
In response to disasters since 2001, Congress has frequently appropriated funds for HUD’s Community Development Block Grant program to provide longer-sighted disaster relief for impacted communities. In Colorado, these Community Development Block Grants - Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) dollars have been allocated to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs for both flood and fire relief.
In his opening remarks, Tipton acknowledged the usefulness of these federal dollars, but expressed concern about the lack of HUD oversight after the dollars have been allocated, saying “I have confidence in the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to faithfully distribute disaster funds. However, I also believe it is important that HUD have the ability to track these dollars to the local level, whether it be independently, or working with state agencies. It’s crucial we guarantee that taxpayer dollars allocated for disaster relief are used for their intended purpose.”
As it stands, HUD lacks the ability to effectively monitor CDBG-DR money dispersed after major disasters. The goal of the subcommittee hearing was to gather feedback and information that will inform steps the federal government can take to bring more accountability to the CDBG-DR program.
“It is critical that disaster victims immediately receive the necessary resources to help get them back on their feet,” Tipton continued. “I am glad to have had the chance to hear from the witnesses about how Congress can create more accountability in these programs.”