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Reps. Clyburn, Rice introduce bill to revise disaster relief grants

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 7:37 AM EST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCSC) - Two U.S. representatives from South Carolina have introduced legislation to revise eligibility standards for disaster recovery grants.

Representatives Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Tom Rice (R-S.C.) introduced the legislation to revise the standards for eligibility for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery grants after major disasters.

“It is often in times of crisis that inequities in our country are most pronounced,” Clyburn said. “This was especially true in South Carolina after many rural and disadvantaged communities suffered significant losses during the 2015 100-year flood. I am pleased to join this effort to ensure low-income communities are not discriminated against in the allocation of disaster recovery funding merely because their damages don’t meet an arbitrary minimum dollar amount.”

The bill would change the requirement from a minimum dollar amount for an area to be considered to instead include any zip code where the median household income is less than 75 percent of the national median household income.

“South Carolina faced challenges with how the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery allocations were weighted during past disasters, such as after Hurricane Florence,” Rice said. “Currently, the HUD formulas favor large counties and discriminate against small counties, regardless of damages sustained during a major disaster. I’m proud to work across the aisle with Congressman Clyburn on this important correction that will better help disadvantaged areas of South Carolina receive our due federal disaster funding in the future.”

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