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The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s community development block grant disaster recovery program (CDBG-DR) can better and more clearly incorporate climate resilience and adaptation priorities. This article identifies and analyzes the statutes that have guided HUD's approach to disaster recovery to date, as well as forms of “soft guidance” issued by HUD for use by various stakeholders, including both HUD CDBG-DR program officers and the state and local officials that interact with them. Comparing these materials reveals a tension between the requirement that all projects funded by CDBG-DR “tie back” to the most recent disaster, and the logic of resilience, which holds that one should always build or rebuild with an eye to the next disaster. The article notes some signs that HUD is working to reconcile this tension and suggests ways for HUD to carry potential forms of reconciliation forward into future disaster recovery contexts.


Environmental Law | Law