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Governor Cooper Pushes for North Carolinians to Have Fair Access to More Recovery Funding

RALEIGH

Governor Roy Cooper has asked President Trump for an official waiver that will allow more North Carolinians impacted by recent hurricanes to receive more funding through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster-Relief (CDBG-DR) program.

“We’re working to help more North Carolinians access the funding they deserve to rebuild their homes and their lives,” said Governor Cooper. “Getting this waiver will cut red tape for survivors and help them access more of the benefits and support they need."

In the wake of a natural disaster, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are not just used for businesses, but also homeowners making repairs to their damaged homes. Many who accept the loans are unaware that they will end up with years of loan repayments when it may be more financially beneficial to pursue CDBG-DR money that does not need to be repaid.

Until recently, anyone who was approved for home repair money from the Small Business Administration (SBA) in the wake of a natural disaster had that loan counted against them in the CDBG-DR awards process even though the loan was expected to be paid back. Congress recently made a fix to change that rule, but states are still required to request a formal waiver to benefit from the change.

Approval of the waiver could open up more federal funding for almost 2,000 affected North Carolinians.

Governor Cooper writes in the letter:

“Because SBA loans under the CDBG-DR program reduce grant amounts by loans proceeds that have to be repaid, disaster survivors who applied for SBA loans are being penalized compared to those who did not apply for such loans. The current policy therefore discourages survivors from being diligent and applying to all applicable federal programs after the disaster. As a matter of equity and sound public policy, action must be taken to ensure loans from the SBA or any other source not be included in a duplication of benefits calculation for CDBG-DR funds for Matthew or any subsequent federally declared disasters in North Carolina.”

To read the full letter, click HERE.