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American Samoa receives 3rd HUD Grant from CARES Act

Congresswoman Aumua Amata
Sources: Media release from Cong. Aumua Amata's office

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Tuesday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata welcomed another CARES Act grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) of $529,150, part of a third wave of HUD funding that included American Samoa in each step, as announced by Secretary Dr. Ben Carson.

This Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) of over a half million is part of the last segment (known as the Third Tranche) of HUD funding directly from the CARES Act, since it became law on March 27. The first two grants were about $800,000 each ($801,000 and $796,914). Other HUD grants this year in response to these economic circumstances include $266,229 and $16,404. Notably, in February, before the CARES Act, HUD had also announced $1.2 million, using three different federal programs. In 2019, in the follow-up to Storm Gita, HUD made major funding available ($23 million) in response to the disaster declaration in place at that time.

Each funding announcement has included American Samoa. The first tranche of $2 billion nationally was announced within a few days of CARES Act passage. The second tranche of $1 billion nationally was announced in May. This third tranche will be just under $2 billion nationwide.

 “HUD was the first agency to announce specific CARES Act funding for American Samoa immediately after the CARES Act was in place,” said Aumua Amata.

“We appreciate this federal support, and the ongoing recognition by the Administration that American Samoa has been economically impacted. Thank you once again to Dr. Carson.”

Since the CARES Act, HUD funds have been aimed at providing support for families and individuals who have been affected by COVID-19 and subsequent economic factors. The funds are distributed by the state or territory, in this case American Samoa Government.

The national allocation is part of the effort to prevent, prepare and respond to COVID-19 housing challenges based on a formula targeted toward communities with high fractions of those at risk – both sheltered and unsheltered – while taking into account local economic and housing factors.