~ The Community Development Administration (CDA) is gearing up to host two community engagement events focused on long-term flood recovery efforts. These events, scheduled for March 27th and 29th of 2024, will provide residents with the opportunity to learn more about the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program and share their feedback and experiences from the devastating July 2022 flooding.

The first event, an in-person Community Open House, will take place at the Wohl Recreation Center from 3:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Residents are invited to attend and participate in various interactive activities aimed at gathering input on the planned use of recovery funds. City staff will also be making presentations at 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM to provide updates on flood impacts, unmet needs, and CDBG-DR program objectives.

For those unable to attend in person, a virtual Lunch and Learn session will be held on March 29th from noon to 1 PM via Zoom. This online event will feature presentations from city officials, as well as opportunities for participants to ask questions and engage in discussions about flood resilience planning. The Zoom link can be found on the city's website.

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The CDBG-DR program was allocated approximately $25 million by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to support long-term recovery efforts in response to the severe storms and flash floods that struck the St. Louis region in July of 2022. This funding is crucial for repairing damaged homes, infrastructure, and communities. As such, the City is prioritizing community engagement opportunities for residents impacted by the flood to participate in the planning process for these funds.

During both events, residents will have a chance to provide input on potential programs that could be funded through CDBG-DR money. These include a Home Repair Program for households affected by the disaster, a Subsistence Grant/Car Replacement Fund for those in need of financial assistance for car replacement, and Flood Plain Management initiatives such as developing a floodplain management plan and implementing measures to mitigate flooding.

Other potential programs include a Home Buyout Program, which would purchase properties in flood-prone areas to conserve the land and potentially transform it into community amenities, and a Flood Response Capacity plan to better manage and deploy resources during disaster events.

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The Community Open House and virtual meeting will also help the CDA identify any unmet needs of residents. These refer to issues that have not been adequately addressed through existing resources like FEMA or other recovery programs. To gather more information on these unmet needs, the CDA opened an Unmet Needs Assessment Survey in January. City residents are encouraged to share how flash flooding impacted them by filling out the survey on the city's website.

These upcoming community engagement events are crucial for ensuring that the CDA has a comprehensive understanding of the needs of those affected by the 2022 floods. By providing input and sharing their experiences, residents can help guide and prioritize potential programs that will aid in long-term flood recovery efforts. The CDA encourages all residents to attend either event and make their voices heard.

Filed Under: Government, City

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