$317 million infrastructure funding announced for communities impacted by wildfires

Local construction firms are worried about labor shortages as they rebuild homes after the recent wildfire disaster. A new proposal is offering a possible solution. (http://commons.wikimedia.org)

California Construction News staff writer

More than $317 million will assist seven communities to rebuild after 2018 wildfires burned more than 1.6 million acres and destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses, particularly in the town of Paradise in Butte County.

The Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds are for infrastructure projects that must be completed as communities work to build and rebuild needed housing, especially housing for low- and moderate-income Californians, and ensure that every household that was displaced in these disasters has the opportunity to return home.

“California remains committed to uplifting and supporting every community impacted by devastating wildfires as they work to rebuild,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom. “Rebuilding after communities are tragically destroyed due to extreme weather is an opportunity to restore economic opportunities and strengthen communities giving them an opportunity to heal.”

In August 2018, the Carr Fire and the Mendocino Complex Fire erupted in northern California, followed in November 2018 by the Camp and Woolsey Fires. These were the most destructive and deadly fires to hit California that year. In total, more than 1.6 million acres burned during 2018.

Communities were awarded funding based on their unmet infrastructure needs and have the flexibility to use the grants to support projects based on their priorities to rebuild in a safe, sustainable, and resilient way.

The Town of Paradise has been awarded nearly $200 million, which will be used to construct critical projects that will accelerate their capacity to rebuild higher density and more affordable housing, business corridors, and critical evacuation routes in the event they face future disasters.

“Rebuilding together is the foundation of the ongoing recovery effort in the Town of Paradise,” said CA Department of Housing and Community Development director Gustavo Velasquez. “This award of nearly $200 million will support critical infrastructure for the Town as it rebuilds with resilience and climate mitigation central to its goals. We remain committed to supporting the residents of Paradise to recover and rebuild.”

The following communities received funds:

Local Jurisdiction Total Awarded
Butte County $72,722,679.61
City of Chico $12,388,409.65
City of Malibu $47,276.93
City of Redding $22,563,043.51
City of Shasta Lake $6,326,184.69
Los Angeles County $3,788,157.86
Town of Paradise $199,592,735.75
Total $317,428,488.00



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