October 23, 2019 – Ashburn, VA
IBTS Corporate Disaster Recovery Executive Michael Spletto presented on understanding the CDBG-DR program and lessons learned at COSCDA’s Annual Training Conference. Typically these presentations are presented by state CDBG staff, but IBTS as a nonprofit agency was invited to speak at the conference.
IBTS Corporate Disaster Recovery Executive Michael Spletto recently gave a presentation on understanding Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds and lessons learned at the Council of State Community Development Agencies (COSCDA) Annual Training Conference in Traverse City, MI. This conference brought together over 100 state CDBG staff responsible for administering the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and CDBG-DR programs in their states.
COSCDA is the only national organization that works directly with states that receive CDBG and CDBG-DR funding. IBTS’ work helping governments of all levels design, administer, and manage CDBG-DR programs aligns closely with COSCDA’s mission. IBTS’ disaster recovery team has administered or managed over $30 billion in HUD CDBG-DR funding and assisted over 200,000 housing applicants.
“It was an honor for IBTS to present at the conference as a non-state employee,” Spletto says. “As part of our nonprofit service mission, IBTS is always looking for opportunities to help states better prepare for their next disaster by sharing our lessons learned helping states administer CDBG-DR programs.”
Spletto’s presentation covered a range of topics, including the significant increase in CDBG-DR funds since the first allocation was made in 1993, while regular CDBG funding has stayed stagnant. Given this increase and the growing frequency and severity of natural disasters, Spletto urged states to have a plan for administering CDBG-DR funding before a disaster hits.
Spletto’s presentation also addressed the differences between regular CDBG and CDBG-DR programs, which states often assume they can run using their existing CDBG staff and regulations. In-line with this misconception, many conference attendees expressed concerns about staffing a new disaster recovery program – which often provides much more funding than a state’s regular CDBG allocation. Spletto recommends moving knowledgeable CDBG staff to the disaster recovery department and pairing them with staff less experienced in the program, and also looking to consultants for assistance with all aspects of the program.
IBTS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping communities through quality services that reduce risk, enhance public safety, and improve quality of life. IBTS is headquartered in Ashburn, Virginia with branch offices across the country. IBTS’s work is guided by a Board of Directors made up of government officials appointed by five of the most highly respected, grassroots, state and local governmental associations, including the Council of State Governments (CSG), International City/County Management Association (ICMA), National Association of Counties (NACo), National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center), and National League of Cities (NLC).