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Recovery Office Helps Thousands in First Year

Numbers show that the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency has helped storm survivors on the road to recovery and prepares the state for a more resilient future in the year since its inception, Gov. Roy Cooper’s office announced Thursday.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in September 2018, Cooper established the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency, or NCORR, to streamline recovery programming and assistance.

Gov. Roy Cooper

“The Office of Recovery and Resiliency has made tremendous progress in getting disaster money out to the people who need it, but recovery is always a long-term process for storm survivors,” said Cooper in a statement Thursday. “We know that a changing climate means we have to rebuild not just stronger but also smarter, and our state is focused on innovative ways to better withstand future storms.”

The following is a list of the year in numbers provided by Cooper’s office:

  • NCORR has committed more than $156.9 million in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funds to help rebuild impacted communities, an increase of 972% from this time last year.
  • To date, NCORR has issued 1,261 homeowner award letters to storm survivors. This equates to a 719% increase in awards since December of 2018.
  • One year ago, 19 storm survivors’ homes were under construction. Today, the number of storm survivors’ homes with construction initiated or construction completed has increased to 541.
  • NCORR stood up a state-funded grant and loan program with the goal of providing financial assistance to communities needing cash flow to start federally reimbursable programs or address local capacity needs. In 2019, the program disbursed more than $7.9 million in grants and over $22.2 million in loans to 21 communities.

NCORR is preparing to launch new Hurricane Matthew programs that will include a homeowner buyout program to relocate individuals out of harm’s way and a small rental program to tackle the lack of affordable housing in impacted communities.

The state has used more than $3.2 billion to help state residents recover from hurricanes Matthew, Florence and Dorian. As of Thursday, the state currently does not have access to the $542 million it will receive for Hurricane Florence recovery and is waiting for the Department of Housing and Urban Development to publish the Hurricane Florence Federal Register notice to grant North Carolina access to those additional funds.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.