contact Us

Tel: (225) 219-9600
Fax: (225) 219-9605

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 94095
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9095

Physical Address:
617 N. Third St.
6th Floor
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

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Gustav-Ike Communications to Grantees

Gustav-Ike Parish Outreach Representatives and other OCD-DRU staff members will,
from time to time, send updates, clarifications, further guidance, etc. to parish and
municipal officials. These communications are gathered here for future reference.


September 17, 2014

Update: HUD has issued its Notice of Funding Availability for the Disaster Recovery Competition, along with two webinars. The information is now available on and the HUD Exchange page. Visit our Disaster Resilience Competition page for the NOFA and other links.

HUD's National Disaster Resilience Competition

OCD-DRU is notifying all 55 parishes impacted by disasters in 2011-2013 of an opportunity that will be coordinated by OCD-DRU at the state level. Your participation and input is solicited as follows:

As you may already know, the White House announced the availability of $1 billion in Community Development Block Grant disaster recovery (CDBG-DR) funds to be awarded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on a competitive basis in areas affected by presidentially-declared disasters in 2011, 2012 and 2013. This opportunity, known as the National Disaster Resilience Competition, is intended to promote community and regional resilience efforts, as well as risk assessment and planning initiatives, to better prepare communities for future storms and other extreme events.

Throughout our state’s history and particularly in the past decade, our state has come to know all too well the devastating effects of such extreme circumstances. In that same vein, communities across Louisiana have also become a source of strength and resilience, as homes that were destroyed have been rebuilt, economies that were ravaged have rebounded and infrastructure systems that were broken have been restored.

Through these experiences, the Office of Community Development-Disaster Recovery Unit (OCD-DRU) has worked hand-in-hand with local officials across the state to spearhead our collective recovery efforts. While we understand work remains to be done, we also know our accomplishments represent the inherent resilience of our citizens. Through this National Disaster Resilience Competition, we have a unique opportunity to present projects that will help strengthen our state in a way that helps all our constituents.

In the fact sheet about the National Disaster Resilience Competition, HUD notes “helping communities build toward a more resilient future requires innovation, broad commitment, and a multi-faceted approach.” I could not agree more, and I think our work together in past recovery efforts has demonstrated those qualities.

Additionally, OCD-DRU will represent the State of Louisiana at the upcoming “State Resilience and Economic Growth Summit” in October in Washington, D.C. You may want to view the agenda, which in turn, may elicit ideas and projects that you may want to recommend that OCD-DRU consider when developing the competitive application for these funds. The link is as follows: 

Our past partnerships in recovery lead me to believe we can be more successful as a state in winning this competition if we work together again. The State of Louisiana is an eligible applicant, and through this correspondence we are soliciting input and participation from the 55 parishes that have been impacted by these disasters.

Please respond by providing the following:

  • Please send in your insights, ideas and recommendations for developing a competitive grant proposal, based on your direct experiences in disaster recovery and taking steps to make your communities more resilient.
  • Please indicate if your local jurisdiction (parish, municipality, township or village) is interested in being part of the consortium, either through (1) sending in a letter of support; (2) being a site or sub-recipient for implementing a resiliency project(s), if applicable, and if the state is awarded funding; and/or (3) serving on an oversight committee. At this time, OCD-DRU encourages grantees to express an interest in doing all three.

At your earliest convenience, contact Mathew Sanders, OCD-DRU’s policy advisor, via e-mail at with your response to the above. Mat will be responsible for compiling your ideas and maintaining a list of those jurisdictions that wish to participate.

In the very near future, it is the intent of this office to schedule a conference call with all interested parties to provide updates; discuss OCD-DRU’s approach for submitting a proposal on behalf of the State of Louisiana; and again solicit your input as we move forward.

Patrick W. Forbes,
OCD-DRU Executive Director


August 12, 2014

Certification Training in Economic Development

OCD-DRU is interested in hosting an Economic Development training and certification series for its staff, along with the staff of a limited number of grantees and sub-recipients, to build capacity in successfully analyzing and structuring economic development opportunities in our disaster-affected communities.

Training will include the basics of economic development financing, business credit analysis, loan packaging procedures, negotiating and problem solving skills, and deal structuring techniques.

It is anticipated that the series will involve approximately four (4) week-long courses spread out over several months, which will take place either in Baton Rouge or New Orleans. Since this is part of OCD-DRU’s technical assistance to grantees impacted by hurricanes Katrina/Rita, Gustav/Ike and Isaac, there will be minimal costs to the participants, other than personal travel and meal expenses. OCD-DRU will cover the cost of the instructor and all related materials.

Participants must agree to dedicate the entire work week to the course work. Daily attendance would be mandatory, in addition to after-hours homework and group case work. An exam will be given at the end of each course, and a certification will be awarded after successful completion of the series.

In an effort to gauge interest in attending the Economic Development training and certification series, we are requesting that grantees and sub-recipients submit the following information to Adrienne Celestine at for each employee who is interested in attending:

  1. Name;
  2. Job Title; and a
  3. Brief Description of relevance of training to job duties.

For other questions or additional information about the proposed training, please contact Adrienne Celestine at the above e-mail address. 


July 22, 2014

Important Notice: Changes and Updates in the Submission of Construction Plans, Specifications, Cost Estimate and Change Orders

OCD-DRU is in the process of entering into a new contractual relationship for support and technical assistance services to be provided to disaster recovery CDBG grantees as projects are implemented. This correspondence details specific updates grantees need to make when submitting construction plans, specifications, cost estimates and change orders. New contact information is also provided. Please adjust your records accordingly and forward this information as appropriate to other staff to avoid any delays in getting these documents approved.

Documents previously submitted by grantees have been transferred to the new contractor as identified below. Please feel free to call or e-mail Ms. Gallagher to confirm your documents have been received and are under review.

One (1) hard copy and one (1) electronic copy of your construction plans, specifications and final cost estimate are to be submitted to the following for review and approval prior to advertising for bids. You must have OCD-DRU approval in writing prior to advertising for bids.

Jennifer Gallagher
1717 Jackson Street
Alexandria, LA 71301 
Phone: 318-473-2100
Fax: 318-473-2275

Please ensure that the most up-to-date documents are included in the specifications submitted for review and approval. Sample documents have been provided in Exhibit 6-2 of the Grantee Administrative Manual for your review. Some recent specifications submitted have been missing the current CDBG Compliance Provisions and Federal Labor Standards, wage decision and Section 3 forms.

Submission of Change Orders
Please be reminded that, per Section 2 of the Disaster Recovery Grantee Administrative Manual, if any of the following circumstances will be affected by a change order, it must be reviewed and approved by OCD-DRU prior to execution by the Grantee.

  • The project’s eligibility;
  • The scope of the project is outside the approved project application; or,
  • The project’s environmental clearance.

For clarification, “changes to scope” are defined by OCD-DRU as any construction items added that were not discussed in the project description or cost estimate contained in the approved application.
If you are unsure about whether review and approval are required, OCD-DRU suggests that the change order be submitted and allow our staff to make the determination for you. This careful approach will ensure that all costs are eligible for reimbursement.

Drainage Projects Only (Gustav/Ike/Isaac Only)
If your project is for drainage improvements, you will also need to submit one (1) hard copy of your plans, specifications, final cost estimate and impact study to the State of Louisiana, Department of
Transportation and Development (DOTD) for review. The list of District Administrators to determine which office should perform the review, based on the location of the project, can be found at:  
OCD-DRU must receive the review response from DOTD prior to authorizing advertising for bids.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your Outreach Representative.

January - June 2014 Communications 

July - December 2013 Communications

January - June 2013 Communications  

2012 Communications