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HUD Awards $1 Billion Through National Disaster Resilience Competition


13 states/communities to receive funding for resilient infrastructure and housing projects

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro and the Rockefeller Foundation announced the winners of the $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC).  Secretary Castro traveled to Norfolk, Virginia where he joined Governor Terry McAuliffe in announcing the winners of the competition. Through NDRC, HUD will provide funding for resilient housing and infrastructure projects to states and communities that were impacted by major disasters between 2011 and 2013.

The National Disaster Resilience Competition winners are:


  • California ($70,359,459)
  • Connecticut ($54,277,359)
  • Iowa ($96,887,177)
  • Louisiana ($92,629,249)
  • New Jersey ($15,000,000)
  • New York ($35,800,000)
  • Tennessee ($44,502,374)
  • Virginia ($120,549,000)



  • New York City ($176,000,000)
  • New Orleans ($141,260,569)
  • Minot, ND ($74,340,770)
  • Shelby County, TN ($60,445,163)
  • Springfield, MA ($17,056,880)


Read a summary of each of the NDRC awardees above.

“Climate change is real and we must think more seriously about how to plan for it,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro.  The grants we award today, and the other sources of capital these grants will leverage, will make communities stronger, more resilient and better prepared for future natural disasters such as floods and wildfires.  The National Disaster Resilience Competition exemplifies how government can work hand-in-hand with the philanthropic and private sectors to create lasting partnerships that will allow us to together face the challenges of tomorrow.”

“The National Disaster Resilience Competition demonstrated where we are moving as a country, embracing resilience as a way to build a better future,” said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “The communities awarded funding through the Competition – and in fact all those that competed – today have a greater awareness of their vulnerabilities and strengths and what they need to do to be ready for whatever comes their way. This is the heart of resilience.”

The competition took place in two phases, with final winners selected from previously announced 40 states and local communities designated as finalists. Finalists were then asked to submit specific projects that would advance their community’s resilience plans. More than 25 federal agencies or offices, and 100 industry experts were involved in the implementation of the 16-month long competition.

NDRC is funded through Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) appropriations provided by the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013.

NDRC was developed in response to requests from state, local, and tribal leaders seeking to build resilience and better prepare their communities for the impacts of climate change, following the model of the Rebuild by Design Competition, and the recommendations of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. The National Disaster Resilience Competition was designed to promote risk assessment, stakeholder engagement, and resilience planning in communities where the risks of disaster are projected to increase substantially due to climate change.

Partnership with Rockefeller Foundation


The Rockefeller Foundation worked closely with HUD and state and local governments to encourage and support a culture of resilience around disaster preparedness and planning in American communities.  Through a companion effort, the Rockefeller Foundation provided targeted technical assistance to the applicants and supported a stakeholder-driven process, informed by the best available data, to identify recovery needs and innovative solutions. The strategic partnership between the Rockefeller Foundation and HUD drew on the successful strategies of the Rebuild by Design competition, where the Foundation provided lead support for administration of the competition and community engagement.


Awardee Summaries


State of California:

The State of California will receive $70,359,459 in NDRC funding to pilot its Community and Watershed Resilience Program in Tuolumne County, which was severely affected by the 2013 wildfires. The Watershed Resilience Program will focus on supporting forest and watershed health, developing a bioenergy and wood products facility, and a community resilience center, which will create a long-term economically and environmentally sustainable program that can be replicated throughout the state.

State of Connecticut:

The State of Connecticut will receive $54,277,359 in NDRC funding to support a pilot program in Bridgeport that is part of the State’s broader Connecticut Connections Coastal Resilience Plan. The Coastal Resilience Plan is focused on reconnecting and protecting economically-isolated coastal neighborhoods through investments in mixed green and gray infrastructure that protect against flooding while strengthening their connectivity to existing transportation nodes.

State of Iowa:

The State of Iowa will receive $96,887,177 in NDRC funding to support the Iowa Watershed Approach, a holistic watershed-scale program designed to sustain its valuable agricultural economy while protecting vulnerable residents and communities. HUD funding will enable several watersheds to form Watershed Management Authorities, which will develop hydrological assessment and watershed plans, and implement pilot projects in the upper and lower watersheds, as well as invest in more resilient, healthy homes in Dubuque.

State of Louisiana:

The State of Louisiana will receive $92,629,249 in NDRC funding to support its Louisiana Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments Program (LA SAFE). LA SAFE seeks to protect coastal wetlands in and around southeast Louisiana, retrofit communities to withstand increased flooding risk, and reshape high-ground areas to maximize their use and safety. The NDRC funds will also enable a tribal community on the Isle de Jean Charles, which has experienced a 98 percent loss of land to 1955, to relocate to a resilient and historically-contextual community.

City of Minot, ND:

The City of Minot will receive $74,340,770 in NDRC funding to support its integrated approach to addressing climate change and recent upstream development that has increased the risk of frequent flooding. The City is launching a set of three integrated projects that will reduce flood risk and improve water management, build affordable and resilient neighborhoods connected to transit and job centers, and foster economic resilience through the creation of Centers for Technical Education.

State of New Jersey:

The State of New Jersey will receive $15,000,000 in NDRC funding to support the creation of a Regional Resiliency Planning Grant Program that will help regions and communities that experience significant flooding to undergo a comprehensive planning process to identify and address vulnerabilities due to increased flooding risk, and for work with university partners to develop a toolkit of best practices for communities to assess their flooding risks and develop resilience building codes and plans.

City of New Orleans:

The City of New Orleans will receive $141,260,569 in NDRC funding to enable the establishment of its first-ever Resilience District in the Gentilly neighborhood. HUD funding will support several integrated initiatives that include coastal restoration, workforce development, and creating parks and green streets that will turn the Gentilly neighborhood into a national model for retrofitting post-war suburban neighborhoods into resilient, safe and equitable communities of opportunity.

City of New York:

The City of New York will receive $176,000,000 in NDRC funding to support the development of the Lower Manhattan Project and Connect Project which will construct a coastal protection system that will enhance the connection between neighborhoods, add green spaces and seating areas, and retail areas, and protect public housing projects that are vulnerable to storm surge and flooding.

State of New York:

The State of New York will receive $35,800,000 in NDRC funding to support public housing resiliency pilots throughout the State. The State of New York will provide funding to public housing authorities to implement site-specific resiliency recommendations based on new resilient guidelines. This will enable the State to repair damage from recent disasters like Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene and pilot new and innovative approaches to build resilience in low-income multifamily properties.

Shelby County, TN:

Shelby County will receive $60,445,163 in NDRC funding to support the Greenprint for Resilience Project, which will build a network of green infrastructure projects that will increase resilience to future flooding while increasing amenities, such as trails and recreation areas, for area residents. In addition to relocating areas exposed to repetitive flooding, the Greenprint project will develop new floodplains and create wetlands and detention areas to create more storage for floodwaters.

City of Springfield, MA:

The City of Springfield will receive $17,056,880 in NDRC funding to support the creation of an Urban Watershed Resilience Zone. The Resilience Zone will include economically-distressed neighborhoods, and will create an innovation and job training center, create a new program for property owners to restore affordable housing units, and the installation of a heat and power plant to provide non-grid energy to critical facilities in the event of power loss during a disaster.

State of Tennessee:

The State of Tennessee will receive $44,502,374 in NDRC funding to support its Rural by Nature Initiative. The initiative is a federal, state and local collaborative effort to create rural resilient communities along the Mississippi River. HUD funding will help with the restoration of two miles of degraded floodplain, the rehabilitation of a wastewater lagoon, and the creation of wetlands and recreation space.

Commonwealth of Virginia:

The Commonwealth of Virginia will receive $120,549,000 in NDRC funding to support the Ohio Creek Watershed and the Coastal Resilience Laboratory and Accelerator Center (CRLAC). The Ohio Creek Watershed project will install a series of distributed green infrastructure projects such as rain barrels and rain gardens, and combine them with coastal shoreline development to address flooding due to storm surge and torrential rains.The CRLAC will create an economic development center that supports technical and organizational innovation to help businesses respond to climate change while ensuring access to and better management of water resources.

Read more about the first and second phases of the National Disaster Resilience Competition.