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Emails to Grantees (2015)

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.

September 1st, 2015


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:

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 ( 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 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


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 or 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
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.

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.


  • 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.

  • 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