Below are excerpts from the Committee Report on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies bill:
Resiliency for coastal roads and highways.—Coastal roads and highways, which are the lifelines of many communities, are facing major challenges from the effects of climate change, particularly sea level rise and coastal erosion. As DOT makes investments in coastal areas, the Committee continues to urge the Department to emphasize resiliency and support for roads that are currently in crisis situations, ensuring that the most vulnerable roads are being modernized utilizing best practices, and that planning for future resilient roads take these realities into account.
New interstate designations.—The Committee recognizes the benefits that communities achieve when existing roads are designated as interstates or future interstates, including those that will facilitate the safe evacuation of coastal areas. The Committee encourages FHWA to work with the appropriate state departments of transportation to facilitate the development of these highways. The Department is directed to report to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations on these efforts within 60 days of enactment of this Act.
Coastal tribes.—The Committee understands that several coastal tribal communities are actively working to relocate homes and other critical infrastructure to higher ground to mitigate the impacts of climate change. The Committee encourages HUD to prioritize funding and technical assistance resources to support these efforts and to encourage the use of resilient building and planning practices throughout Indian country. Further, the Act expands the Native American housing block grants competitive program to allow the Secretary to award grants to rehabilitate or retrofit housing units owned, operated, or assisted by eligible recipients under NAHASDA to improve water or energy efficiency or increase resilience to natural hazards and allows the Secretary to give priority to projects that include activities that improve water or energy efficiency or increase resilience to natural hazards through the Indian community development block grant program.