DENVER — Tuesday, June 3, 2014 — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced it approved the State’s waiver request to implement a tourism and marketing grant program through the Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program. The tourism and marketing program is included in the State’s recently approved CDBG-DR Action Plan and will provide funds to communities whose tourism industry was significantly impacted by the flooding last September.
The Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Action Plan submitted by the State and approved by HUD in April outlines how Colorado will distribute $62.8 million in grant dollars received from HUD for flood recovery programs. Colorado’s tourism industry was severely impacted by the floods last fall. Through feedback from local business communities, the public and the Colorado Tourism Office, a request was made for a waiver to use some of the CDBG-DR funds to market tourism in heavily impacted areas of the state.
“We are happy that HUD approved the tourism and marketing waiver that was included in our action plan. These dollars will be used by the communities that were hit so hard during the flooding,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said. “All over the country and across Colorado, people saw the devastation on the news last fall. With these tourism and marketing funds, local communities will be able to let tourists know they are open for business.”
The State of Colorado has set aside $500,000 of the CDBG-DR funds to support marketing to re-establish tourism in the most impacted areas. Applications for the funds through this waiver are available online at http://dola.colorado.gov/cdbg-dr/ and are due June 24. Applicants must demonstrate significant impacts due to the floods and a heavy reliance of the local economy on the tourism industry. The state will work with all applicants to release the money as soon as possible. The waiver will expire after two years.
During a visit in December, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced the overall $62.8 million funding award and that it would go toward a broad set of needs not addressed through other sources of public and private assistance such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small Business Administration. This grant will support recovery efforts in 18 Presidentially declared flood-impacted counties, with a majority of the funds going to the most impacted counties: Boulder, Larimer and Weld. Programs will focus on housing, public infrastructure, long-term planning and economic development which now includes this tourism and marketing waiver.
The approved CDBG-DR Action Plan is available on the Department of Local Affairs website at http://dola.colorado.gov/cdbg-dr/
In addition, Secretary Donovan also announced today that HUD has finalized $199.3 million in CDBG-DR funds announced in March to help Colorado recover from major declared disasters dating back to 2011. In compliance with federal guidelines, a separate Action Plan will be prepared to address this second allocation and will include a public comment period.