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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Inspector General (OIG), has completed a survey of the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) grantees.  Our objective was to determine the challenges that HUD and its CDBG-DR grantees are experiencing related to the COVID-19 pandemic and to help inform the Office of Community Planning and Development and Congress on the issues faced in responding to the pandemic.

HUD’s CDBG-DR grantees across the country reported facing similar challenges and experiences related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The most significant challenges faced during the pandemic and reported by grantees were systems-technology and communications.  The grantees also reported substantial challenges with project construction delays and incurring additional costs during the pandemic.  HUD assistance at this stage of the pandemic emerged as a challenge; however, grantees described DRSI actions as supportive and helpful because of the revisions made to the CDBG-DR requirements, adding flexibilities and extensions to existing expenditure deadlines.  Grantees also expressed major concerns about the possibility their staff could be infected with the COVID-19 virus and their desire to keep their staff safe during the pandemic.  Other challenges reported by the grantees included monitoring, construction resources-lack of capacity, travel restrictions and telework, and work-home balance. We determined that there were eight recurring themes faced by CDBG-DR grantees and HUD officials during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the exception of HUD assistance, the grantees and HUD officials cited seven specific challenges affecting their programs in 195 instances during our interviews.

This memorandum does not contain recommendations.