Following the May 22, 2011 tornado, Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr, Mayor Mike Woolston and Planning and Community Development Director Troy Bolander had met with officials from HUD and had learned of the potential for the funding based on the past experience of communities in other areas of the country impacted by disasters. After the meeting they reviewed the unmet needs of the community and included them in a letter of request for funding via the office of Senator Roy Blunt.
"We are very pleased with Senator Blunt for his earnest hard work for southwest Missouri, especially following a year of extreme weather that has greatly impacted our citizens," said Rohr. "Following the tornado, we are listening to our community and their desires for Joplin's future. Many have expressed their ideas through the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team (CART) process, and have asked for various projects and concepts that this funding could qualify for. With this CDBG funding, it is our intent to utilize these dollars to benefit the community as a whole, while addressing the specific needs of our citizens."
Activities eligible for CDBG funds include construction and rehabilitation of privately- and publicly-owned housing, property acquisition, infrastructure improvements, down payment assistance, tenant-based rental assistance, social services and economic development. The CDBG program is designed to address a range of unique community development needs that primarily benefit the low- and moderate-income population.