The Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program was established under the American Samoa Government (ASG), administered by the Department of Commerce (DOC) under the Urban Planning & Development (UPD) division. It is fully federally funded by the United States Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). On January 27, 2020, HUD announced an award of $3.8 billion of CDBG-DR funds to assist in the recovery and relief efforts of disasters that occurred in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
In October 2021, HUD awarded $23,039,000 of CDBG-DR funds to ASG to address unmet recovery needs from Tropical Cyclone Gita in 2018 (insert Disaster No.). HUD requires recipients to provide an Action Plan outlining how the money will be applied to unmet needs following a disaster. On December 4, 2020, DOC submitted an Action Plan proposing the use of these funds. DOC has received partial approval of this Action Plan and plans to submit a Substantial Amendment to seek full approval in June 2022.
Table 1 below shows the intended breakdown of the total award within the allowable caps:
DOC has been issued its partial award and the first release of funds for $6,500,000.
Table 2 below shows the distribution of the partial award amount:
DOC is preparing to submit a substantial amendment to the Action Plan and will post to allow a 30-day public comment period.
In the initial Action Plan, programs identified were a Home Recovery & Rehabilitation Program and Tualauta Drainage for homes most affected by the Cyclone Gita. By utilizing the best available data and considering more recent housing assistance resources, DOC will focus on addressing the imminent demand for the infrastructure for American Samoa’s most densely populated areas most affected by Cyclone Gita in 2018.