Gov. Jay Inslee Thursday directed the Washington State Department of Commerce to make funding available to assist disaster recovery efforts in communities devastated by this season’s wildfires.
To help address the urgent need for a wide range of emergency resources for those who lost their homes as well as local governments in need of economic aid, Commerce is making up to $150,000 in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) available, effective today. The grant funding will focus on additional services to help lower income residents and municipalities in need of essential economic and housing assistance. These services could include things like case management, housing counseling and distribution of emergency supplies – essentially helping people get what they need to begin the process of recovering from their losses.
These funds will benefit Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan, Ferry, Pend Oreille and Stevens counties through three regional grants that use existing CDBG-funded county and community action program partnerships. This will allow the funding to be available more quickly.
Inslee said this is just a first step in helping heavily impacted communities, residents and business owners recover from the losses resulting from the worst wildfire season in state history.
“This year’s wildfires have left hundreds of people without a home and left a gaping economic hole in some of our communities due to lost tourism activity and damaged farm and ranch land,” Inslee said. “I’ve asked Commerce to look at all possible options to help local governments and residents get back on their feet. This is just the start. We’ll be working with local government and business leaders to identify other opportunities to assist in their recovery efforts.”
Eligible counties are being contacted by Commerce and applications for funds will be available today. For more information, local officials may contact Kaaren Roe, CDBG Program Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, 360-725-3018 and check this CDBG News page on the Commerce website for updates.