North Carolina will receive an additional $32 million in Hurricane Matthew relief from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The money is in addition to the $6.1 million HUD awarded the state in May.
Gov. Roy Cooper requested $929 million for Hurricane Matthew relief at the time — and expressed his “shock and disappointment” with the administration for the small amount.
The state has received hundreds of millions from the federal government for recovery and repairs from Hurricane Matthew, which caused $4.8 billion in damages when it hit eastern and central North Carolina in October.
“North Carolina needs this critical help to rebuild. It's gratifying that bipartisan work with our congressional delegation helped HUD realize our state’s additional need. More work remains to rebuild communities so we must continue,” Cooper said.
HUD used revised data from the state to reconsider the awarded amount.
Rep. Robert Pittenger, whose 9th District includes some of the hardest-hit counties including Roberson and Bladen, blamed Cooper for announcing the $6.1 million grant, which was made public on the HUD website.
“Earlier this year, Governor Cooper caused unnecessary confusion by announcing North Carolina received only $6.1 million. As we explained, that was a preliminary calculation based on outdated data, and we chose to stay focused on getting results,” Pittenger said.
“For the past several months, my team has worked with HUD to ensure the most up-to-date information was used for the final calculation, which resulted in five times more money for North Carolina. This is an issue I’ve been engaged with since I-95 was still underwater, and we will see it through.”
Members of the North Carolina delegation have promised to push for additional funding in the 2018 budget.
“This additional funding, which will prove vital to North Carolina’s recovery from Hurricane Matthew, is the result of bipartisan advocacy from the delegation and Governor Cooper,” said Rep. David Price, a Chapel Hill Democrat and a member of the House Appropriations Committee.
“Make no mistake, however: the new allocation still leaves us hundreds of millions of dollars short of the demonstrated need. The delegation must continue to stress to the Administration and congressional leadership that many North Carolinians are living in the devastation wrought by Hurricane Matthew, and we will not stop fighting to get them the funding they deserve.”