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CDBG in Disaster Recovery
My name is Joseph McPhail. I work for the Iowa Department of Economic Development. My title is the Duplication of Benefits Prevention Coordinator for the $800 million Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery Program.

CDBG dollars are not traditionally used in a disaster recovery setting. Disaster recovery efforts have a degree of urgency that does not easily lend itself to the normal CDBG program regulations. For example, the CDBG program will often put more than $25,000 into a single-family home triggering lead abatement. This type of project, while important, might keep a disaster-affected family living in a hotel a month longer than they would have otherwise. Similarly, the CDBG program also requires that homes be evaluated by the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) to see if the home is of any historical value. This is just another example of the many layers of regulations and verifications required before CDBG dollars can be used to repair or rehab a home or rental unit.

If you need help efficiently distributing your CDBG disaster recovery dollars while still remaining in compliance with all applicable regulations including the Stafford Act Section 312 Duplication of Benefits and the Privacy Act feel free to contact me at or visit my website at

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