Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson announced Monday he is approving a $74.4 million Alabama plan to help hard-hit communities in the state implement their rebuilding strategies following Hurricane Katrina.

Alabama’s recovery plan will be funded through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. President Bush declared 22 counties in Alabama major disaster areas in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. In Mobile County alone, more than 1,000 homes were severely damaged or destroyed. In addition, Hurricane Katrina devastated Alabama’s coastal employment base, including the state’s signature shrimp industry.

“This funding will go a long way toward helping some of Alabama’s hardest-hit communities to ramp up their recovery efforts,” Jackson said. “Whether it’s giving a boost to local job markets or helping families to rebuild their homes, HUD’s in this for the long haul.”

Communities seeking support for housing construction must describe how they will produce homes that are high quality, durable, energy efficient and mold resistant. To ensure the availability of affordable housing, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) will also require local communities to detail how they will consider the specific housing needs of their low- and very-low-income citizens.

To read the full text of Alabama’s approved action plan, click here.

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