Sign In

Emails 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. Grantee questions should be directed to staff, if noted, or to their OCD-DRU Outreach Representative.

August 6th, 2018  

Changes and Updates in GIOS:

  1. Amendment information will not save if the "Cancel Amendment" button is selected.
    1. When an application is being amended, if the user selects the “Cancel Amendment” button, the information being entered will not be saved.
  2. Changes do not allow a “Draw Request” to be processed during an amendment.
    1. When an amendment is in process, the dollar amounts have not been approved—therefore “Draw Requests” for that application cannot be processed until dollar amounts are approved. Any “Draw Requests” can only be processed after the application is approved.
  3. Forms now display red asterisks for required fields and sections.
    1. If there is an asterisk next to a field in GIOS, the field must be completed before moving forward in the process.
  4. The “Activity Beneficiary” form no longer allows the PDF to be generated until all values for activities within projects have been “Saved.”
    1. Data on this form MUST be Saved as noted in red text on the form. If data is not saved on this form, the pdf cannot be generated. The pdf should contain the data that is saved on the “Activity Beneficiary” form. If no data is on this form, then the pdf will generate an error.

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact George W. Woods, Jr., EDFP, Reporting Specialist, at George.Woods@la.gov or 225-342-1731.

April 23rd, 2018

Deadline For Request For Payments

As the state’s Fiscal Year (FY’18) ends June 30, OCD-DRU is asking all grantees to submit their Requests for Payment to DRU as requested to avoid delays in payments:

  • Please immediately submit all Requests for Payment for any and all expenditures incurred to date in order to bring expenditures current with project projections and to provide sufficient time for invoices to be processed. Invoices will be processed in the order in which they are received.
  • Please submit invoices for expenses incurred in June (June 1-30) no later than July 6, so that they may be forwarded to OFSS for payment by July 13, 2018.

Please share these deadlines with all CDBG disaster recovery staff as well as any subcontractors. It will be necessary to start compiling documentation NOW and preparing the invoices in order to meet these deadlines.

The sooner invoices are received, the sooner OCD-DRU staff can review and either process for payment or return for additional documentation. Therefore, please review the RFPs to ensure all documentation is included and is consistent with OCD-DRU Finance procedures for RFPs. If an RFP is returned, or there is a delay in receiving the additional documentation and clarification, OCD-DRU cannot guarantee a timely payment.

OCD-DRU, in partnership with the State’s Office of Finance & Support Services, urges grantees to process all reimbursement requests for expenditures through June 30, 2018, within the above schedule, in order to assist in closing the books for the fiscal year.

For expenditures occurring on or after July 1, 2018, please submit these expenditures on a separate payment request form; expenditures after July 1, 2018 will be applied to the state’s next Fiscal Year (FY’19).

OCD-DRU requests that all grantees expedite their submittals through their normal process, either electronically or by hard copy, to meet the July 13 date. Payment delays will occur if these instructions are not followed.

As always, we appreciate your cooperation in these year-end efforts. Thank you!


October 30th, 2017

OCD-DRU has updated the Disaster Recovery CDBG Grantee Administrative Manual with the following files relative to the close-out of projects/activities; the close-out of Cooperative Endeavor Agreements (CEA’s) for CDBG-DR grant awards to grantees; and Exhibit 6-2i, within the Construction Contract Documents Guide:

  • Section 13 – Close-Out, Pages 225 – 249, Version 3.75, September 2017;
  • Sections 13-1, Activity Completion Report, Version 3.8, September 2017;
  • Section 13-4, Grantee/CEA Final Performance Report, Version 3.7, September 2017; and
  • Exhibit 6-2i, CDBG Compliance Provisions for Construction Contracts, Version 3.75, October 2017.

Please note the following changes and additions that were made to Section 13 and Exhibits 13-1:

Section 13                   Changed the use of the word “project” to “activity” throughout the document and other clarifying language;

  • 13-1a                     Requires grantee to provide the eligible activity and national objective;
  • 13-1a                     OCD-DRU now completes the performance measures section as opposed to the grantee;
  • 13-1c(i)                 Requires the grantee to provide “Area Benefit” information;
  • 13-1c(iv)               The format of form has changed, but same information is requested;
  • 13-1(g)(i)             Requires all funding sources and status of those funds;
  • 13-1(g)(ii)            Requires breakdown of funding sources per activity; and
  • 13-1(g)(iii)           Requires supporting documents for other funding documents be provided to show the final amount paid from those sources.

Please note the following changes and additions made to Sections 6-2i: 

  • 6-2i(1)(C)             Adds language regarding a contractor’s discrimination against an employee or applicant relative to compensation; information;
  • 6-2i(8)(A-G)        Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 USC 793);Changes and additions have been made throughout this section regarding steps a contractor should take anddocument in regard to individuals with disabilities in either the employment of or advancement of;            
  • 6-2i(11)                 Certification of Compliance with Air and Water Acts – see cited regulations;
  • 6-2i(25)                 Lists specific regulations for compliance regarding disbarment, suspension and ineligibility of contractors;
  • 6-2i(39)                 New - adds instructions for contracting with small and minority-owned firms, women’s business enterprises, labor, and surplus area firms; and
  • 6-2i(40)                 New - adds guidance on procurement of recovered materials.

Please print the PDF versions and change the attached sections in your manual, and ensure that all other parties responsible for CDBG-DR compliance and grants management in your organization are aware of these changes.  The word documents are fillable and can be used as your working documents to submit activity and CEA close-out reports.

As always, the current version of the CDBG-DR Grantee Administrative Manual can be found on OCD-DRU’s website: http://www.doa.la.gov/Pages/ocd-dru/DRadminManual.aspx.

 

September 15th, 2017

You should have received this email if you are a recipient of a disaster recovery grant under hurricanes Katrina/Rita, Gustav/Ike and Isaac, and/or may have been impacted by the Great Floods of 2016.

All grantees who have received CDBG-DR funding for hurricanes Katrina/Rita, Gustav/Ike and Isaac, and/or may have been impacted by the Great Floods of 2016, are urged to register for this HUD webinar to gain a clear understanding of the latest updates to procurement regulations for disaster recovery funding. 

As a recipient of CDBG-DR funding, it is your responsibility to stay updated on regulatory requirements and policies issued by HUD and/or the state of Louisiana. If you are involved in any aspect of procurement for projects, services or grants management, you should participate. 

Specifically, if you are a FEMA applicant with approved PWs, and/or PWs under negotiation that involve construction related to the 2016 Floods, you are strongly urged to register.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your Outreach Representative.  If the question is related to FEMA PWs for the Great Floods of 2016, please e-mail your inquiry to DRU.Match.Program@la.gov

 

Register Today: Buying Right: CDBG-DR and Procurement A Guide to Recovery Webinar - September 19, 2017 - 1:00 PM EDT

This webinar will focus on procurement requirements for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery programs. This webinar will cover the latest procurement guidance under the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Guidance as provided in 2 CFR Part 200. Participation is highly encouraged.

Participants will learn:

  • Roadmap of the procurement process
  • Procurement methods for different types of goods and services
  • Best practices to ensure compliance with the Uniform Guidance requirements
  • Common pitfalls in procuring goods and services by grantee

Who Should Attend?

This webinar is designed for all CDBG and CDBG-DR grantees, especially staff charged with purchasing goods and services.

Webinar Schedule:

 

SeriesDate and TimeRegistration
Buying Right: CDBG-DR and Procurement
A Guide to Recovery
September 19, 2017
1:00 - 2:30 PM EDT
Registration

 

Hosted By:

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Training Point of Contact

Brittani Coy | 859-578-4850 | bcoy@ndconline.org

Registering for the 2017 Buying Right: CDBG-DR and Procurement A Guide to Recovery Webinar

Access the registration page below and then select Register Now on the right side of the page.

If you have not yet registered for an HUD Exchange account:

Create an Account on the HUD Exchange

  1. Go to the HUD Exchange (www.hudexchange.info).
  2. Click Login (at the upper right).
  3. Click Create an Account.
  4. Fill out the form, and click the Create Account button.
    Your account has been created. You will receive a confirmation email.

If you have already registered for an HUD Exchange account:

  1. Enter your Username and Password; select Log in.
  2. If prompted to fill out additional information, please do so, and select Update.
  3. You will be brought directly to the course detail page in HUD Exchange.
  4. Select the checkbox next to the class name and location and then select Enroll in this Class.

If you are unsure if you have an HUD Exchange account:

  • Go to the HUD Exchange Login page, and enter your email address into the field: Forget Username or Password?
  • If a username for that email address already exists, you will receive an email with a temporary password that you can use to follow the steps above. If not, you'll receive an error message.

Additional Instructions

To find out more information about upcoming trainings and access materials from previously held trainings, go to HUD Exchange Trainings.

 

July 16th, 2017

FEMA PA Match Program Training: 2016 Flood Recovery Program

This program is designed to provide required matching funds to state, local governments and certain private non-profit entities with approved project worksheets from the FEMA Public Assistance (PA) Program. Under this program, entities impacted by the March 2016 floods are required to bear a 25% cost share and entities impacted by the August 2016 floods are required to bear a 10% cost share.

The Office of Community Development, Disaster Recovery Unit (OCD-DRU) has decided to conduct three, one day training sessions, for entities that intend to use CDBG-DR in matching funds. This will provide more options to facilitate attendance, both in terms of schedules and travel accessibility, and allow for more interaction and discussions during the training.  Consequently, the schedule has changed from the original Save the Date that was issued.

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN - PLEASE FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS BELOW​ ​

​FRIDAY, JULY 21 (Session 1)

​Pineville Community Center

708 Main Street

Pineville, LA

WEDNESDAY, JULY 26 (Session 2)

​Renaissance Hotel

Ballroom 1

7000 Bluebonnet

Baton Rouge, LA

 If you wish to attend Session 1 or Session 2, please click on the following link. Use the dropdown at the top for “Class” and select which session you wish to attend based on the dates above and provide the information requested: www.road2la.org/reg/. You will receive a confirmation.

​WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 9 (Session 3)

​West Monroe Convention Center

901 Ridge Avenue

West Monroe, LAL 71291

 

If you wish to attend Session 3, please click on the following link and select “register”.

Once the page opens, select “check in” and provide the information requested: https://femapamatchprogramtraining.eventbrite.com. You will receive a confirmation. You will not

need to print the ticket.

 

 

 

Schedule for All Sessions:​ ​ ​ ​ ​

​8:00 AM

​Registration

​8:30 AM

​Program Starts

CDBG-DR Requirements

​Noon

​Lunch

​1:00 PM

​Program Reconvenes

Procedures for Payment

​4:30 PM​Adjourn

 

Who Should Attend

MANDATORY ATTENDANCE. In order to access the CDBG-DR match funds, the one day training will be MANDATORY for those entities which have PW’s involving construction and/or who have NOT had previous experience in working with and managing CDBG-DR funding.  Normally, this will involve FEMA work orders in Categories C-G.

 At least one staff member or an official from each eligible entity MUST attend – ideally the person or persons who will be directly responsible for implementing the project(s) and/or have oversight.  This may include the director, government administrator, grants or emergency operations manager, mayor or other elected official, or other designated personnel. More than one person may attend to represent the eligible entity. Consultants, who have been hired by an eligible entity and will have responsibility for services and compliance requirements relative to the FEMA work orders, may also register.

OPTIONAL ATTENDANCE. The training is OPTIONAL for those entities with FEMA work orders in Categories A and B only, which did NOT include construction. This is because the process for accessing the CDBG-DR funds for the match are shorter and simpler for non-construction projects and a program analyst from OCD-DRU will be assigned to you to process the paperwork. However, if you still wish to register for the training, the presentations from

1:00 – 4:30p.m. are the only ones which will be applicable to your project(s). You will not need to attend the morning sessions.

If you have any general questions, please e-mail OCD-DRU at DRU.INFRASTRUCTURE@LA.GOV  so we can track your inquiry and provide a response as needed.

We look forward to seeing you at one of the training sessions!

 

July 5th, 2017

Restore LA FEMA Public Assistance Non-Federal Share Match Program  (FEMA PA Match Program)

This communication is one of several advisories from the Office of Community Development, Disaster Recovery Unit (OCD-DRU) you will receive over the next few weeks as part of the rollout of the FEMA PA Match Program. The purpose is to provide eligible entities recovering from the Floods of 2016, with the option to utilize Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds as the match for the FEMA Public Assistance Program.

In order to provide specific guidance on both CDBG-DR requirements, above and beyond what may be required by FEMA, and the process by which the match will be paid, OCD-DRU is scheduling training sessions as follows:

Save the Dates!

July 19 and July 21 2017

 

OCD-DRU will conduct two, one day training sessions on the dates above, for entities that intend to use CDBG-DR in matching funds.  Two sessions will be held for your convenience – one in North Louisiana and one in Baton Rouge. Additional information and a registration link will be provided shortly.

In order to access the CDBG-DR match funds, the training will be MANDATORY for those who have PW’s involving construction and/or who have NOT had previous experience in working with and managing CDBG-DR funding.

In addition, you will be contacted within the next few days by a member of OCD-DRU’s Outreach Team to schedule an initial site visit at your location.  Visits will start July 24, on a first come first serve basis, in order to establish a working relationship with your staff, and will be scheduled periodically, as needed, throughout the implementation of your project(s). Any technical assistance you may need can be expedited and facilitated through what we consider to be a partnership with OCD-DRU.

If you have any general questions, please e-mail OCD-DRU at DRU.INFRASTRUCTURE@LA.GOV  so we can track your inquiry and provide a response as needed.

 

May 25th, 2017

Restore Louisiana Small Business Program

The Office of Community Development, Disaster Recovery Unit (OCD-DRU), in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Economic Development (LED) and other federal, state and local economic development partners, has created the Restore Louisiana Small Business Program (RLSB) to provide financial assistance to small businesses located in areas adversely affected by the 2016 Severe Storms and Flooding Events.

OCD-DRU will provide financial assistance to eligible businesses and/or non-profit organizations through participating non-profit lenders, credit unions and/or community development financial institutions, that will implement and administer a lending program to assist flood-impacted businesses and/or non-profits. Total funding available for the RLSB is $51.2 million in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery Funds (CDBG-DR) from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

What is Provided?

Participating lenders will make loans to small businesses in the 51 flood-impacted Parishes to provide working capital and funds to repair or replace movable equipment and machinery. Assistance for construction-related expenses is not available through this program.

The program will award loans between $20,000 and $50,000 to eligible businesses. Provided borrowers comply with program requirements, provide required documentation and make payments as agreed, the loan will be interest free. In addition, 20% of the loan will be forgiven when 80% of the principal is repaid.

Please see the attached list of participating lenders and the service areas they cover. Only these lenders are authorized under the program to receive applications and make loan awards.

Who is Eligible?

The initial phase of the RLSB program aims to provide assistance to businesses that meet the eligibility requirements below AND are considered to provide essential goods or services to an impacted community. Such goods and services may include grocery stores, pharmacies, healthcare providers, gas stations, childcare providers and locally-owned restaurants or residential service providers.

To be eligible for benefits under the RLSB, an applicant business must meet the following criteria:

  •  Must be either a for-profit business or a private non-profit organization located in one of the 51 parishes impacted by the 2016 Severe Storms and Flooding Events (see flood recovery map attached)
  • Was directly impacted by the storms/floods, with a documented physical or financial loss.
  • Non-profit organizations will be evaluated for eligibility and ability to service debt based on the secular operations of their organization.
  • Has eligible unmet needs after accounting for all insurance, federal, state, local and private proceeds.  The loan cannot be used to supplant or replace any funds previously received.  Otherwise, it will be considered a duplication of benefit, which is in violation of state and federal laws.
  • Was operating at the time of the respective storm or flood event – i.e. must have been open before April 8 for the March 2016 floods and before August 31 for the August 2016 floods.
  • Must either a) be currently operating or b) demonstrate the ability to reopen upon receiving assistance from the program.
  • Has a minimum of one full-time equivalent employee and no more than 50 full-time equivalent employees.
  • Had a pre-storm minimum annual gross revenue of $25,000.
  • Businesses that are closed at the time of application, but who will be able to reopen upon receiving assistance from the program must have a business plan and demonstrate they have the funding necessary to reopen.
  • Closed businesses must commit to re-opening in an eligible parish; they are not required to re-open in the same location in which they were operating at the time of the flood.
  • Additionally, businesses must meet the following underwriting criteria, with exceptions considered on a case-by-case basis:
    • Owners with greater than 20% ownership must have a minimum Beacon credit score of 600.
    • Current business or personal debt coverage ratio of 1.1x or greater. Debt Coverage Ratio is defined as net operating income divided by total debt service.

Important Key Timeframes:

​Application Intake Period for Businesses

​May 26 - June 30

​Review of Eligible Applicants for Awards

​May 26 - July 7

​Loan Award Distribution (Closings)

​July 15 - December 31

If you have any questions, please contact Michael Chua, Program Manager for the RLSB Program, at Michael.Chua@la.gov.


May 17th, 2017

​FEMA Public Assistance Non-Federal Share Match Program (FEMA PA Match Program)

Due to the widespread impact of the March and August 2016 Floods in Louisiana, which devastated public facilities, infrastructure and public service providers throughout the state, the State of Louisiana, in its Action Plan Amendment for the use of the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery Funds (CDBG-DR), has created the FEMA Public Assistance Non-Federal Share Match (FEMA PA Match Program.)

This program is designed to provide required matching funds to state, local governments and certain private non-profit entities with approved project work sheets from the FEMA Public Assistance (PA) Program. Under this program, entities impacted by the March 2016 floods are required to bear a 25% cost share and entities impacted by the August 2016 floods are required to bear a 10% cost share.

The Office of Community Development, Disaster Recovery Unit (OCD-DRU, is currently designing the program and expects to begin accepting applications in the near future. The projects must be approved and obligated by FEMA prior to determining CDBG eligibility.

The FEMA PA Match Program is funded through CDBG-DR assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is subject to all rules and regulations governing the use of these funds. The state is currently working with HUD and FEMA to understand how and when CDBG-DR rules and regulations will apply to FEMA PA projects when CDBG-DR funds are used as the non-federal match.

If you plan on seeking CDBG-DR funds to pay for part or all of the non-federal match requirement of your FEMA PA funds, you must consider the CDBG-DR requirements in the design of your projects.

  • For additional information on the rules and regulations surrounding CDBG-DR assistance and the language that must be included in the procurement documents, please review the Disaster Recovery CDBG Grantee Administrative Manual at:

     

     

  • If you are a current OCD-DRU grantee, please feel free to e-mail your Outreach Representative for guidance and technical assistance.
  • If you have not utilized CDBG-DR funds in Louisiana in the past and need assistance, please e-mail OCD-DRU at DRU.INFRASTRUCTURE@LA.GOV so we can track your inquiry and provide technical assistance.

Additional information will be forthcoming in the future.

 

May 15th, 2017

Six Events Will Help Flood-affected Homeowners Fill Out State’s Recovery Survey

Do you know any flood-affected homeowners who need help completing the state’s flood-recovery survey? Six statewide outreach events have been scheduled where program representatives will provide personalized assistance to flood-affected homeowners who need help completing the survey. The survey is the first step in getting assistance from the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program. The outreach events are scheduled as follows:

May 16 – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Southeastern Louisiana University – Student Union

500 W University Ave., Hammond, LA 70402

May 17 – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Ascension Parish Library – Gonzales

708 S Irma Ave., Gonzales, LA 70737

May 18 – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Bill Cockrell Recreation Center

4109 Pines Road, Shreveport, LA 71119

May 23 – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

East Baton Rouge Parish Library

11300 Greenwell Springs Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70814

May 24 – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Youngsville Sports Complex Gymnasium

801 Savoy Road, Youngsville, LA 70592

May 25 – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Denham Springs Old City Hall

115 Mattie St., Denham Springs, LA 70726

NOTE: All flood-impacted homeowners are strongly encouraged to complete the survey, even if they do not believe they will qualify for assistance. More homeowners may qualify as more funding becomes available

Program representatives will be available to answer questions, provide information and work directly with homeowners on a first-come, first-serve basis. Homeowners who are unable to attend an outreach event will have future opportunities to receive help from program representatives. There is no deadline to submit the survey at this time. All individuals who wish to complete the survey will have a chance to do so.

The survey may be completed online at http://restore.la.gov or by phone at (866) 735-2001, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. It takes about 15 minutes to complete.

 

May 9th, 2017

The Louisiana Housing and Resiliency Symposium

May 9th, 2017

Monroe Civic Center, Monroe, LA

The Lousiana Housing and Resiliency Symposium is designed for: Parish Presidents or Administrators; Town & City Mayors; Council members; Chief Administrative Officers; Planning, Community Development, Economic Development and/or Permit Directors; Floodplain Managers; Grant Administrators; and/or Department of Public Works Directors or Engineers; or designated government staff therein; Non-Profits involved in housing or community development; financial institutions

In the aftermath of the flooding in March and August, communities are facing extraordinary challenges with recovery and rebuilding. The Louisiana Housing and Resiliency Symposium, the second in a statewide series addressing recovery issues as a result of the 2016 floods, will focus on best practices in providing affordable housing through partnerships with non-profits, developers and financial institutions; toolkits for developing adjudicated properties and addressing blight; zoning and ordinances necessary to address blight; and issues and decisions that elected officials and the community will need to address in order to create a more resilient and sustainable community.

In addition, attendees will be provided updates on the state’s recovery programs to address the impact of the floods, such as the Housing Rehabilitation Program for homeowners; and several programs designed for renters and landlords to increase the availability of affordable housing units in the state.

In the afternoon, there will be two small breakout sessions.

Formal Invitation to Louisiana Housing and Resiliency Symposium

Directions to Monroe Civic Center

 

June 3rd, 2016

Comprehensive CDBG-DR Grantee Contact List

OCD-DRU is updating its comprehensive contact lists for all disaster recovery grants – Katrina/Rita, Gustav/Ike and Isaac. These lists are used for a wide variety of purposes: advisories on changes in all applicable CDBG, federal, and state regulations and policies;

training notifications; compliance monitoring letters; Notices of Funding Availability (NOFA’s); emergency updates; legal notices; etc.

 

With recent elections throughout the state, there have been a number of changes in both elected officials and staff. It is essential that we contact the appropriate person(s) who has legal and/or administrative responsibility for the grant, as well as person(s) who are key staff. Please also note, that we have added social media information as another vehicle to be able to communicate important information to you. If you do not use or have social media accounts, please leave those sections blank.

 

Please follow the instructions below. Once you hit submit, the information will be automatically populated into our comprehensive database. Please note, if you have multiple disaster recovery Contracts/CEAs with OCD-DRU, you must submit a form for each Contract/CEA.

 

Instructions:

 

  • See attachment: CDBG Grantee Contact Information Form.pdf
  • Fill out and submit one form for each disaster related CDBG contract your organization has with OCD-DRU.
  • Most of the fields are required and must be filled in before submitting form.
  • After completing the form, click the Submit Form button located at the bottom of the form. The form will be attached to an email with the Toand Subject fields already filled in. Send the email to complete the submission of the form.
  • Multiple contracts/CEAs & submitting additional forms:

- If your organization has multiple contracts/CEAs with OCD-DRU, before submitting form, click File → Save As to save a copy of the form to your PC. The PDF file will be saved with all of the information you have entered.

- To submit additional forms, simply open the PDF file you saved, change the necessary fields (Contract/CEA #, etc.), and submit & email again. This will keep you from having to re-enter information for each Contract/CEA.

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your program manager or your outreach representative.

 

OCD-DRU HOSTS UNIFORM RELOCATION ASSISTANCE (URA) TRAINING IN CONJUNCTION WITH HUD

All granteeswho have received disaster recovery funding from the Office of Community Development-Disaster Recovery Unit, are invited to participate in a comprehensive training on The Uniform Relocation Assistance (URA) and Real Property Acquisition Act of l970,scheduled Tuesday, May 17, 2016, 8:30a.m. – 5:00p.m., at the Belle of Baton Rouge, 103 France Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802.

Sara Neira, Regional Relocation Specialist from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will conduct the training and provide a thorough review of requirements both applicable to URA and activities not subject to URA requirements.  The latter includes temporary servitudes and easements, short term leases, voluntary acquisition and acquisition of streets. Acquisitions subject to URA include the acquisition of specific parcels for purchase, donations, additional rights of way for street projects and leases in excess of 15 years. Training will cover documentation, the processes involved and settlement costs in order to meet compliance under the following applicable regulations:

  1. 1. URA regulations, effective February 2005, implementing the Uniform Relocation assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended (49 CFR Part 24)
  2. 2. Section 104(d) of the Housing and Community Development Act (HCDA) of 1974 and the implementing regulations at 24 CFR Part 42Note: HUD has waived portions of Section 104(d) of the HCDA of 1974; and
  3. 3. 24 CFR 570.606 of the CDBG Regulations which requires compliance with the regulations listed above.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? 

In an effort to expand the capacity of grantees and their staff in managing CDBG-DR funds, OCD-DRU is instituting a series of training sessions targeting governmental staff at the local level who are legally or directly responsible for and/or who have a key role in implementing disaster recovery projects under hurricanes Katrina-Rita, Gustav-Ike and/or Isaac, as well as additional funding which may be forthcoming in the future. 

All grantees funded with allocations from hurricanes Katrina-Rita, Gustav-Ike and Isaac should send parish or municipal staff who perform the following tasks or functions:

                (1)          Administration or oversight of CDBG-DR funds and projects;

                (2)          Contracts or purchase agreements;

                (3)          Financial management;

                (4)          Planning, zoning, permits, and land use; and

                (5)          Appraisals.

This is a unique opportunity to develop in-house knowledge on a very complex aspect of CDBG compliance.  Credit for this training can be applied to any future CDBG Grants Management Training should OCD-DRU require, in the future that grantees must have staff “certified” as a CDBG grants manager through training offered by OCD-DRU, HUD, COSCDA or other qualified training entities recognized by OCD-DRU.

It is strongly advised that each grantee register at least one full-time individual who has responsibilities as delineated above. Additional staff may also be registered as appropriate.  While there is no cost for this training, attendance will be tracked and maintained by OCD-DRU and a Certificate of Completion will be awarded for participation in the full day of training.

CDBG consultants are welcome to attend on their own and at their discretion, but will not be considered as the official representative of the grantee.

REGISTRATION:

  • There is no charge for this training.
  •  Please fill out the attached form and return to Sandra Gunner at Sandra.Gunner@la.gov, at your earliest convenience, and no later than May 11, 2016, so we can provide the roster to HUD in advance of the training.
  • If you have questions regarding who should attend, please feel free to call Sandra Gunner at 504-458-7302.

TRAVEL AND OTHER PERTINENT INFORMATION:

Travel is an eligible cost under your CDBG-DR administrative funds, or project delivery if currently implementing a project(s) that includes acquisitions and/or relocation, using Louisiana’s state travel guidelines.

The Belle of Baton Rouge has rooms available on May 16 for those who may choose to come in the night before the training.  You may call the reservation line at 1-800-266-2692.

Free guest parking is available in the hotel’s parking garage located around the corner on Mayflower Street.  Short-term and overnight valet parking is also available at $5.00/day.

Lunch on May 17 will be “on your own” but there are plenty of options within walking distance of the hotel, including the on-site restaurant, Shucks on the Levee, open from 12:00pm – 8:00pm. Menus and a map will be available at the OCD-DRU’s registration desk.

Community coffee is sold at the hotel gift shop located in the lobby and a breakfast buffet is available for $10.00 at Bar 102, 6:30am – 10:00am.

On behalf of Pat Forbes, Executive Director, Office of Community Development-Disaster Recovery Office, we look forward to seeing you May 17! 

 

April 25th, 2016

DEADLINES FOR REQUEST FOR PAYMENTS

As the state’s Fiscal Year (FY’16) ends June 30, OCD-DRU is asking all grantees to submit their Requests for Payment to DRU as requested to avoid delays in payments:

·         Please immediately submit all Requests for Payment for any and all expenditures incurred to date in order to bring expenditures current with project projections. 

·         Please submit invoices for expenses incurred in May no later than Monday, June 13 so that they may be forwarded to OFSS for payment by June 30, 2016.

·         Please submit invoices for expenses incurred in June (June 1-30) no later than Wednesday, July 6, so that they may be forwarded to OFSS for payment by July 15, 2016.

Please share these deadlines with all CDBG disaster recovery staff as well as any subcontractors.  It may be necessary to start compiling documentation now and preparing the invoices in order to meet these deadlines. 

The sooner invoices are received, the sooner OCD-DRU staff can review and either process for payment or return for additional documentation.  Therefore, please review the RFPs to ensure all documentation is included and is consistent with OCD-DRU Finance procedures for RFPs. If an RFP is returned or there is a delay in receiving the additional documentation and clarification, OCD-DRU cannot guarantee a timely payment.

Payment delays will also occur if the above deadlines are not followed. OCD-DRU, in partnership with the State’s Office of Finance & Support Services, urges grantees to process all reimbursement requests for expenditures through June 30, 2016, within the above schedule, in order to assist in closing the books for the fiscal year.

For expenditures occurring on or after July 1, 2016, please submit these expenditures on a separate payment request form; expenditures after July 1, 2016 will be applied to the state’s next Fiscal Year (FY’17).

OCD-DRU requests that all grantees expedite their submittals through their normal process, either electronically or by hard copy, to meet the July 15 date. 

As always, we appreciate your cooperation in these year-end efforts. Thank you!

 

September 1st, 2015

OCD-DRU HOSTS LABOR COMPLIANCE TRAINING IN CONJUNCTION WITH HUD

All grantees who have received disaster recovery funding from the Office of Community Development-Disaster Recovery Unit (OCD-DRU), are invited to participate in a comprehensive training on federal labor compliance, set for Tuesday, September 22, 2015, from 8:30am – 5:00pm, in Room 111 of the Convocation Center Annex at 7800 Washington St. on the Xavier University campus.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Labor will conduct the training and provide a thorough review of requirements and recordkeeping for grantees in order to meet all compliance standards when using Disaster Community Development Block Grant funds (CDBG-DR). Communities implementing projects involving construction contracts in excess of $2,000 must comply with the following laws and regulations(as applicable):

                1.            Federal Fair Labor Standards Act

                2.            Davis-Bacon and Related Acts

                3.            Copeland Anti-Kickback Act

                4.            Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Acts (CWHSSA)

                5.            Louisiana Labor Standards and local law and regulations

Who should attend?  We are asking all grantees funded with allocations from Hurricanes Katrina/Rita, Gustav/Ike and Isaac to send representatives who have responsibility for and/or oversight of the following: (1) the CDBG-DR grants manager or person(s) directly responsible for oversight of the CDBG-DR funds and projects thereto; (2) the designated Labor Compliance Officer for the grantee; (3)CDBG-DR consultants as approved by their respective grantee to attend; (4) Contractors implementing CDBG-DR construction projects that are applicable to the above laws (optional); (4) Other grantee staff who could benefit from the training and add to the capacity of managing such projects and funds at the local level. If the project(s) is complete, we still encourage you to attend to ensure all labor compliance records were in fact collected and will be maintained as required until the respective grant, at the state level, is closed out by HUD. This is a unique opportunity and we encourage all grantees to take advantage of this training.

After you’ve registered, complimentary parking vouchers providing access to parking lots directly across the street from the Convocation Center Annex, specific directions to the site and other instructions will be e-mailed to you.

Please register using the following link provided by HUD:  

http://www.hud.gov/emarc/index.cfm?fuseaction=emar.registerEvent&eventId=2583&update=N

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

 

August 21, 2015

Certification Training in Economic Development

In August 2014, OCD-DRU distributed an e-mail to determine the level of interest in an economic development training program. OCD-DRU has since secured a training provider, and is hosting an Economic Development training and certification series for its staff, along with the staff of a limited number of grantees and sub-recipients. The intent of the training is to build capacity in successfully analyzing and structuring economic development opportunities in our disaster-affected communities. Please note: private consultants to the state, grantees and subrecipients are not eligible to register or participate for the training program.

The training and certification series will consist of four (4), week-long courses spread out over several months, all of which will take place in Baton Rouge, LA. Economic Development experience is not a prerequisite to participate in the training.

The Economic Development Finance Professional Certification Series (EDFP) provided by the National Development Council (www.nationaldevelopmentcouncil.org) includes the following courses:

ED101: Economic Development Finance – October 5, 2015 through October 9, 2015

 ED201: Business Credit Analysis – December 2015/January 2016

 ED202: Real Estate Finance – April 2016

 ED300: The Art of Deal Structuring – July 2016

Weekly schedule:

Monday- Thursday:

                 8:00am-5:30pm class training

                 5:30pm-possibly 8:00pm group homework lessons

 Friday:

                  8:00am-12:30pm CLASS TEST*

*Must receive a score of 70% or greater in order to pass the class test and receive credit for taking the class

OCD/DRU is excited to offer this opportunity to provide training at a minimal cost of $25.00 per course, ($100.00 per participant). The four (4) class training series is typically $2,600.00 not including the costs associated with traveling to the national training sites. Since the training is part of OCD-DRU’s technical assistance to grantees impacted by hurricanes Katrina/Rita, Gustav/Ike and Isaac, OCD-DRU will cover the cost of the instructor and all related materials. Personal travel, meal expenses and hotel accommodations are the responsibility of the participants.

Hotel accommodations may be available at a group rate depending on the number of rooms requested. Information on the training site and group hotel rates will be provided once the list of participants is finalized.

Participants must agree to dedicate the entire work week to the course work. Daily attendance is 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.

While calculators are allowed at all times and the content will be provided by the instructors, participants will be required to use basic algebra and math formulas to answer questions in class, during homework sessions and throughout final tests.

If you are interested in participating in the training, please complete, sign and e-mail the attached application and consent form. Please note: supervisors of applicants are also required to sign the form to ensure full participation and availability of participants. All applications are to be submitted to the office of Community Development/Disaster Recovery Unit by COB Tuesday, August 25, 2015 to tomorr.lebeouf@la.gov. The application process does not guarantee participation in the training series. You will receive confirmation of your acceptance along with registration instructions by e-mail on or before September 1, 2015. Please pass this information to others within your organization as deemed appropriate.

For questions or additional information about the proposed training, please contact Tomorr LeBeouf at tomorr.lebeouf@la.gov.

 

May 28th, 2015

Katrina/Rita 10th Anniversary Events

As we near the 10-year anniversaries of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we’d like to know what, if any, ceremonies you are planning to commemorate the storms and the recovery work that has taken place over the last 10 years. In addition to us wanting to have a comprehensive list of activities going on statewide, we may be able to assist by providing data relevant to your grant or geographic region.

OCD-DRU is currently gathering data and will be providing an overview of the CDBG-DR funds invested in Katrina/Rita recovery in housing, infrastructure, economic development and planning programs.

If you are planning an event, please let us know by Friday, June 5 by emailing Angela Vanveckhoven atangela.vanveckhoven@la.gov. Thank you!

 

May 27th, 2015

Duplication of Benefits Policy - Compliance Issue

On Oct. 13, 2014 OCD-DRU sent an E-blast to all disaster recovery grantees informing them that HUD requires the state and all sub-recipients to have a separate Duplication of Benefits (DOB) Policy. The E-Blast is repeated below and the samples that were provided – i.e. OCD-DRU’s policy along with a template that could be used by grantees in developing a DOB for their local jurisdiction – are also attached to this E-Blast.

For clarity and follow-up:

  • Each grantee with active projects as of Oct. 13, 2014 is required to have a separate, stand-alone DOB policy as part of its core documents.
  • Grantees should follow their local procedure for adopting a policy, which may include a) having the local governing body (police jury, council) formally pass a resolution or b) having the parish administrator, mayor or appropriate official sign and distribute a local policy.  The grantee should ensure the process for adopting the DOB policy is consistent with other required CDBG policies or core documents that have been adopted by the grantee, such as procurement policies, citizen participation plan, etc.
  • Because this is a compliance issue, please e-mail a copy of the adopted DOB policy and the resolution, if applicable, to your Outreach Representative.

If the policy has not yet been adopted, then please e-mail the date by which the policy will be adopted and whether or not the process requires approval by your local governing body.  Once it is adopted, please forward as requested.

  • Please respond upon receipt of this E-blast. OCD-DRU must provide a report to HUD within the next 90-days that documents compliance with this requirement.

If you have any questions, please contact your Outreach Representative at your earliest convenience.

DUPLICATION OF BENEFITS POLICY – E-Blast Dated October 13, 2014

OCD-DRU has recently adopted a Duplication of Benefits (DOB) policy for our agency, which is attached for your review.

Additionally, based on guidance from HUD, each of our grantees and direct sub-recipientsmust also adopt theirown DOB policy and procedure. To help you formulate your policy, we are providing the attached Sample DOB Policy for your use. Each grantee and direct sub-recipient must adopt a DOB Policy and Procedure to be included with their Disaster Recovery CDBG files. Grantees that have provided Disaster CDBG funds to a sub-recipient should pass the Sample Policy to the sub-recipient for adoption for their project or program.

If you have questions or would like technical assistance in creating your DOB policy and what it is and why you need it, please contact your outreach representative.

 

April 28, 2015

Guidance for Disaster Recovery CDBG Recipients on Site-Specific Environmental Documents

Federal guidelines and OCD-DRU’s policies and procedures require that all homebuyer files within any CDBG-DR housing program should include the site-specific environmental documents, including the Compliance Checklist for 24 CFR 58.6. This policy applies to any new files, as well as retroactively to any homebuyer files already held by the parish.
 
An environmental review is required for any housing program that includes new construction, reconstruction, major or minor rehabilitation or demolition.
 
It is equally important that each applicant receiving a housing program grant be made aware, at the time of the grant closing, that flood insurance is required for the life of the structure. In the case of a loan through a housing program, an applicant must maintain flood insurance for the life of the loan.
 
Please be sure that your homebuyer files contain the necessary environmental documents, and that you are communicating to your applicants the necessity of having flood insurance on their homes.
 
For additional information on the Environmental Review process, see OCD-DRU Administrative Manual, Section 9 titled Environmental Review at http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/cdbg/dr/manual/version3.2/Section-9-Ver3.2.pdf or http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/cdbg/dr/manual/Sec9/Exhibits-Section9-Ver2.0.pdf for exhibits.
 
If you have any questions or require Technical Assistance specific to these environmental requirements, please contact OCD-DRU’s Environmental Officer, Ann Herring at 225-219-9620. As always, if you need any additional information, please work with your OCD-DRU Outreach Representative.
 

February 18, 2015

Guidance for Disaster Recovery CDBG Recipients on Administrative Settlement Requirements (related to Uniform Relocation Act procedures)

Please read the below information and apply this guidance when acquiring property for a project involving disaster recovery CDBG funds (NOTE: this guidance applies even if the CDBG-DR funds are not the source of funds used for the acquisition):
 
Administration Settlement
Documentation of negotiation proceedings and any supporting documents must be submitted to OCD-DRU for review and approval prior to the reimbursement of any property when the purchase price is higher than the fair market value. Support for administrative settlements must include a written decision from the recipient that describes both the advantages and also the disadvantages of available options that justifies the proposed increase.
 
Be reminded that the use of CDBG-DR funds that are in excess of fair market value and are not approved prior to disbursement by OCD-DRU will be disallowed.
 
These requirements are detailed in Section 10, Clause 6.1.7 of the Disaster Recovery Grantee Administrative Manual, which can be found on the OCD-DRU website at http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/cdbg/dr/dradmin-manual.htm.
 
If you have any questions, please contact your Outreach Representative or your OCD-DRU Analyst.
 

Guidance for Disaster Recovery CDBG Recipients on changes to Cooperative Endeavor Agreements (CEA)

Please note the revised language below will be added to all new CEAs and amendments to require that all program requirements are passed down to sub-recipients, contractors, and beneficiaries;
Section I, labeled “Scope of Agreement,” part B, as follows (revised language is in blue):
 
B. Implementation of Agreement
Grantee’s rights and obligations under this Agreement are as a grant recipient as set forth in 24 CFR 570.501. Grantee is responsible for complying with said regulations and for implementing the Program in a manner satisfactory to the OCD and HUD and consistent with any applicable guidelines and standards that may be required as a condition of the OCD’s providing the funds, including but not limited to all applicable CDBG Program Administration and Compliance requirements set forth by this Agreement and the Statement of Assurances (attached hereto as Appendix A) executed by Grantee and made a part hereof. The OCD’s providing of Grant Funds under this Agreement is specifically conditioned on Grantee’s compliance with this provision and all program and CDBG regulations, guidelines and standard.
 
In the event that Grantee, in the use the Grant Funds, has one or more sub-recipients, Grantee is responsible for ensuring that Grantee’s policies and program documents are compliant with all laws, regulations, executive orders and other requirements that apply to the use of the Grant Funds made available through this Agreement.
 
In addition, Section I.D.7 has been changed to include language as follows:
D. Statement of Work
7. Assurances
Grantee shall be responsible for implementing the recovery activities in compliance with all state and federal laws and regulations and all Program requirements. It shall be Grantee’s responsibility to require that all of its contractors, and all tiers of their subcontractors, all sub-recipients, if applicable, and all beneficiaries, if applicable, adhere to all applicable state and federal laws and regulations and all Program requirements, and to conduct all necessary monitoring for such compliance. As to laws and regulations which apply to the use of CDBG funds, Grantee has prior to the execution of this Agreement executed the Statement of Assurances, attached hereto and incorporated herein as Appendix A, reflecting compliance with those listed laws and regulations, which shall be deemed to be requirements of this Agreement. As to any other laws and regulations which may apply to construction projects, Grantee is responsible for determining the applicable laws and regulations and ensuring compliance therewith.
 
As between the Parties to this Agreement, Grantee, as the administrator of the recovery efforts of the Parish, bears sole responsibility for implementing such recovery efforts.
 
Grantee shall be responsible for implementation of infrastructure improvements in compliance with any applicable federal and state procurement and bid laws and regulations and in adherence with the Louisiana Public Works Act.
 
If you have any questions, please contact the OCD-DRU Contracts Specialist at 225-342-0856.
 

January 23, 2015

Compliance Issues Update

In March 2014, OCD-DRU sent communication to our grantees describing the most frequent types of concerns and findings identified by our agency during on-site monitoring reviews of grantees and sub-recipients. Also noted was where to find information related to these issues in the CDBG Regulations and in the OCD-DRU Grantee Administration Manual, so that grantees and sub-recipients could take corrective actions before their next monitoring visit.
 
Below is an update based on the results of OCD-DRU’s monitoring visits throughout 2014, along with the appropriate references in the Grantee Administration Manual to address the issues. Please use these to ensure that your disaster recovery CDBG work is in line with HUD regulations and ready for on-site monitoring.
 
Use of Other Reference Resources:
Quite often this past year, grantees/sub-recipients have indicated that, in implementing their disaster recovery CDBG program/project, they have referred to guidance from the state’s regular CDBG program or materials provided by the Louisiana Municipal Association. The disaster recovery CDBG program, while similar to the regular CDBG program, has many different requirements, and the official documents that need to be used are the OCD/DRU Disaster Recovery CDBG Grantee Administration Manual and HUD regulations 24 CFR Part 570.

Procurement:
Concerns and findings continued to include:

 

  • Lack of complete procurement policies and procedures that comply with 24 CFR Part 85.36 or, for non-profit entities, 24 CFR Part 84.40. A sample of a procurement policy can be found in Exhibit 6-1 of the Grantee Administration Manual.
  • Failure to obtain OCD/DRU approval when only one bid is received. See Section 6, subsection 10.0 in the Grantee Administration Manual.
  • Use of RFP and RFQ evaluation criteria that has the effect of limiting free and open competition. See Exhibit 6-8 in the Grantee Administration Manual.
  • Failure to include all CDBG assurances in each contract. See Exhibit 5-6 in the Grantee Administration Manual.
  • Awarding an administrative consultant contract and an A/E contract to the same firm. Even if the procurement for both complied with procurement procedures, this situation is seen as a real or perceived conflict under 24 CFR Part 570.489(h) that must be addressed prior to the award of such contracts.
  • Failure to assure that potential contractors are not on the Federal Debarment list prior to the award of a contract. See Section 6, subsection 13.1 of the Grantee Administration Manual.
  • Lack of evidence of a “good faith effort” identifying efforts to reach out to minority and women owned businesses when procuring goods and services. See 24 CFR Part 85.36 and Section 8 of the Grantee Administration Manual.
  • Not properly advertising procurement solicitations to ensure that all potential bidders know that the project is funded with Disaster CDBG funds. See Section 6 of the Grantee Administration Manual.

Labor:​

  • Lack of evidence that the entity’s Labor Compliance Officer reviewed weekly payrolls. See Section 7 of the Grantee Administration Manual.
  • Failure of the prime contractor to collect weekly payrolls from subcontractors. See Section 7 of the Grantee Administration Manual.

 
Uniform Relocation and Acquisition:
Failure to follow the proper property acquisition procedures as required by 49 CFR Part 24, Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition for Federally-Assisted Programs, and Section 10 of the Grantee Administration Manual.
 
Finance:

  • Lack of financial policies and procedures. See Section 5, subsections 2 and 8 of the Grantee Administration Manual.
  • Failure to deposit CDBG Disaster Recovery funds in a non-interest bearing account. See Section 5, subsection 4.3.1 of the Grantee Administration Manual.
  • Failure to perform a budget to actual reconciliation or not comparing expenditures to the approved CEA/Application budget. See Section 5, subsection 8.1.


Records Management:
Lack of a records management system to properly account for all required CDBG compliance requirements. See Section 4 of the Grantee Administration Manual.

As always, if you have questions or need technical assistance, please contact your OCD-DRU Outreach Representative.

2014 Communications

2012-13 Communications