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December 2014 Featured Article

Featured Article

Resiliency Funding Announced:
Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery

Triad Associates

A $50 million dollar grant program will provide funding for construction-ready flood control projects for many areas throughout the State. On November 3 a notice of funding was published, announcing that Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is available for projects or improvements that reduce storm surge or flood risk. The Office of Flood Hazard Risk Reduction Measures (FHRRM) will oversee the competitive application process and program.

This program is open to municipal as well as county governments within the following 9 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union. Grant awards will vary based on the size and complexity of the projects. The FHRRM will determine the amount of the award based on set criteria to be used in evaluating the application and submitted materials.

Project types must address an impact caused by Superstorm Sandy, reduce flooding risk, improve flood resilience and meet an “unmet need”. The maximum award for a project will be $15 million. The full $50 million is an initial fund allocated to the grant program out of a total of $100 million approved for Flood Hazard Risk Reduction and Resiliency Measures. Additional information on this funding source is available in the New Jersey Action Plan, Amendment 7, for the Second Allocation of CDBG-DR.

Eligible construction ready flood hazard risk reduction and resiliency project types include coastal lake projects that reduce flood risk (surge reduction, increased discharge); flood risk reduction infrastructure projects (levees, tide gates, flood barriers); stormwater management projects (pump station, capacity increase, storage areas); and beneficial use of dredge materials.

In addition to location as well as being ready for construction, several additional factors will determine an applicant’s eligibility. The project must show impact caused by the Superstorm, the proposed risk reduction and resiliency measures, need for funding, as well as cost effectiveness and benefit. Because FHRRM is required to meet an overall funding goal of 25 percent low and moderate income, area benefit for this community development block grant preference may be given to areas of low and moderate income in accordance with HUD's National Objectives.
Finally, applicants must demonstrate the capacity to manage and oversee the project construction including the financial management of all project costs. Project costs incurred will be reimbursed through the FHRRM.

For the second allocation of CDBG-DR funds, the proposed project area must present a high vulnerability or risk to storm surge or flooding, as developed by a science-based analysis; must result in storm surge or flood risk reduction through infrastructure construction, installation or repair; must be analyzed using a robust benefit-cost analysis, which will consider the benefit of the project, including consideration of environmental impacts, public health and safety impacts, social impacts, environmental impacts and population data; and must meet minimum resilience performance standards.

Inquiries were due by November 21, 2014; Inquiries and responses will be posted on the following website: Applications for the first round of funding must be submitted to FHRRM on or before December 5, 2014.

Published December 2014.

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