FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 18, 2010
Contact: Christina Stephens, firstname.lastname@example.org
State Launches $10 Million Program to Improve Resiliency in Parishes Affected by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike
Public entities, nonprofits may apply for planning funding to prevent future damage from natural disasters
BATON ROUGE, La. - The state of Louisiana today launched a $10 million program that will help communities affected by hurricanes Gustav and Ike create plans to be more resilient in the event of future disasters and recruit staff in pivotal code enforcement roles.
The competitive Comprehensive Resiliency Program is a $10 million pool of federal Community Development Block Grant funds that will fund non-construction projects such as planning for land use, the creation of forward-thinking zoning ordinances and the augmentation of local code enforcement staffs. Drawn from Louisiana's $1 billion allocation of CDBG funds for recovery from hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008, eligible projects must focus on communities in the 53 parishes affected by these storms.
"Over the past few years, Louisiana has weathered major hurricanes that have placed our communities at risk. This program will provide funding to support land use planning and promote strong code enforcement which, when paired with existing mitigation efforts, including restoring our coastline, can protect communities from future loss," said Robin Keegan, executive director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. "There is not a one-size-fits-all solution for promoting resiliency, so we must work with at-risk communities to develop appropriate solutions."
The state will fund projects in two categories:
- Category One - Plan or Zoning Ordinance Development: Open to public entities and non-profit organizations to finance the development of forward-thinking plans related to land use, economic development, resiliency and water management and development of local zoning ordinances that will help prevent or dramatically minimize business, housing, and infrastructure damage from future storm events.
- Category Two - Code Enforcement Staff Ramp Up: Open only to parishes, municipalities and other relevant public entities to finance in-house staff to assist in the establishment or acceleration of building code enforcement and resiliency education.
Application documents can be downloaded by clicking here. The LRA and the state Office of Community Development will accept applications until 5 p.m., March 17, 2010, with awards announced later this spring.
Created in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita in 2005, the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the coordinating and planning body leading the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history. The central point for hurricane recovery in Louisiana, the LRA works closely with the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and partners with state and federal agencies to oversee more than $20 billion worth of programs, speed the pace of rebuilding, remove hurdles and red tape and ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.