Isaac recovery grants announced

More than $100 million in federal recovery grants from Hurricane Isaac were announced Wednesday for much of southeastern Louisiana.

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, announced the $107 million in recovery grants that were approved as part of the Hurricane Sandy supplemental funding passed by Congress earlier this year.

Jefferson Parish will receive $16.5 million, St. Tammany Parish will get $8.9 million and Orleans Parish will receive $15 million.

The rest of the funds will go to the state to be distributed among the most heavily affected parishes, including St. John the Baptist and Plaquemines parishes.

The funds are coming from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program.

Landrieu, who chairs the U.S. Senate’s Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, helped spearhead the Sandy supplemental bill for the Senate and said she fought to include “robust CDBG funding.”

“As I worked with my colleagues on a Sandy recovery bill, I made it clear that Isaac-affected communities in Louisiana would not get left behind,” Landrieu said in the announcement.

“I will be working with HUD (the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) and our state to ensure that funds get to the parishes that need it as quickly as possible so we can get to work rebuilding and strengthening our communities,” she added.

Richmond called the grants “great news.”

“These funds come at a critical time for my constituents, as more investment is needed to spur recovery from Isaac and previous storms,” Richmond stated. “I look forward to performing robust oversight over these funds to ensure that they are directed to recipients most impacted by the destruction resulting from Isaac. I also expect the state to expeditiously address the needs of my constituents in other hard-hit parishes that are not singled out in this funding announcement.”

CDBG Disaster Recovery funds can be used for recovery efforts involving housing, economic development, infrastructure and prevention of further damage to affected areas, such as the rehabilitation of homes, buildings, public facilities and streets damaged by the disaster.

“As we know all too well in Jefferson Parish, HUD plays a vital role in the federal disaster response network, and I am grateful for this important investment in our community and future,” Jefferson Parish President John Young said in the announcement.