Detroit has landed a $58 million federal grant toward its ongoing efforts to recover from catastrophic flooding last summer, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Tuesday.
The funding award comes after the city last June was hit hard by massive rainstorms that prompted a disaster declaration from President Joe Biden.
“The nearly $60 million flood disaster recovery grant awarded by HUD today represents funding that is critically needed for our efforts to protect residents living in our most flood prone neighborhoods,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement.
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Nearly six inches of rain fell June 25 and 26 resulting in 32,000 basement backups from the rainwater or combined sewage.
The mayor said the city intends to pursue permanent measures to protect residents in the Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood from rising water levels along the Detroit river and from basement flooding due to last year’s historic rains that Detroit expects to see again.
Detroit’s grant award is part of an overall $3 billion in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funds being awarded by HUD to help communities recover from disasters and build resilience to climate change, particularly areas historically marginalized.
“Communities will have greater resources and focus to ensure equitable outcomes for underserved households that too often bear the brunt of climate-related disasters,” HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said in a statement. “With these funds, we are sending a strong message that equity and forward-looking mitigation are priorities of HUD and this administration’s disaster recovery work.”
Duggan said the city plans to pursue an expansion of its Basement Backup Protection Program unveiled in February.
The city committed $2.4 million for a pilot in the Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood and Aviation subdivision to install backflow prevention valves and sump pumps. They plan to spend up to $15 million overall as the program expands. The program was aiming to assist 11 Detroit neighborhoods that historically have been hit with basement backups during downpours.
“It is our hope that we will be able to use these new HUD funds to expand this program quickly to all 11 areas of the city that have experienced repeated flooding,” Duggan added.
HUD on Tuesday noted it is directing $2.2 billion to 10 local governments and 13 state governments for 16 major disasters in 2021. HUD also awarded $12 million to the state of Michigan and more than $16 million to the city of Dearborn tied to the impacts of the rainstorms on June 25 and 26.
HUD is also sending another $722 million to five previously announced 2020 disaster recovery grants. The grants must be used for low- and moderate-income populations and for uses that include disaster relief, long-term recovery, restoration of infrastructure and housing, and mitigation in distressed areas, HUD noted.