Press Releases

Oversight Subcommittee Examines Disaster Recovery Funding


Washington, November 1, 2017 -

Eliminating waste, fraud and abuse from the Community Development Block Grant’s Disaster Recovery Program administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was the focus of a hearing today held by the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

From 2001 to 2016, Congress appropriated more than $47 billion in supplemental funding to HUD to address long-term disaster recovery, according to Acting Inspector General Helen Albert, who testified at today’s hearing. 

“It's imperative that every disaster relief dollar is spent efficiently to help people in need,” said Subcommittee Chair Ann Wagner (R-MO). “As we heard today, the HUD Office of Inspector General has routinely identified serious systemic problems with the CDBG Disaster Recovery Program and money has often failed to reach those who need it most. We must put a stop to the inefficient and sometimes wasteful use of disaster relief funds by increasing oversight and accountability and ensuring disaster relief dollars go directly to Americans in need.”

Key Takeaways

  • HUD lacks the capacity to adequately monitor CDBG Disaster Recovery money that is disbursed and expended after a major disaster, meaning victims might not actually ever receive their promised assistance.
  • Congress should highlight the Inspector General’s work and encourage HUD to review and implement proposals that would make the program more effective.

Topline Quotes from Witnesses

“The Department faces significant challenges in monitoring disaster program funds provided to various grantees, including States, cities, and local governments under its purview. This challenge is particularly pressing for HUD because of the limited resources to directly perform oversight, the broad nature of HUD projects, the length of time needed to complete some of these projects, the ability of the Department to waive certain program requirements, and the lack of understanding of disaster assistance grants by the grantees.” -- Helen Albert, Acting Inspector General, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

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