State seeks comment on distribution of Sandy money

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Monday that the state Department of Housing is seeking public comment on an action plan that outlines how the state will distribute $66 million in federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds to continue the state's Superstorm Sandy mitigation efforts.

Malloy invited residents to visit the state's CT Recovers website to review and submit comments on the plan by March 20.

Thus far, more than $500 million in federal assistance has been approved to help Connecticut with damages and expenses in the aftermath of Sandy, the governor's office said in a news release. Last July, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which administers the program, provided $71.82 million to Connecticut after approving its action plan to help residents, businesses and communities recover and rebuild after the storm. In November, HUD announced a second allocation of funding in the amount of $66 million. Before the state can receive any portion of this funding, the state housing department must submit a finalized action plan and obtain approval from the federal housing department.

"The public has an important role to play in determining how we spend these federal dollars, so it is my hope they take the time to read the plan and let their voices be heard," said Evonne Klein, state housing commissioner.

Her department plans to use the funding to address any remaining unmet housing needs that resulted from Sandy, such as rehabilitation and resiliency planning activities for affected homeowners, according to the news release. In addition, $30 million of the $66 million total is targeted for infrastructure projects. Only projects in Fairfield, New London, New Haven and Middlesex counties and the Mashantucket Pequot tribal area are eligible for assistance.

The action plan can be found at www.ctrecovers.ct.gov. Comments should be sent by midnight March 20 by email to the state housing department at CT.Housing.Plans@ct.gov.

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