NORA, City Announce $5M Expansion of Stormwater Management Program

NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) and City of New Orleans have announced a $5 million expansion of the Community Adaptation Program for low-to-moderate-income homeowners to manage stormwater on their properties across the city. To date, NORA said it has completed 179 projects in Gentilly through its original $5.9 million allocation from the $141 million National Disaster Resilience grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The existing NDR-funded program in Gentilly provides up to $25,000 worth of residential-scale stormwater management interventions at no cost to homeowners. Participating CAP homeowners can choose from a variety of green infrastructure improvements such as the installation of permeable pavement (including to replace impervious concrete surfaces like patios and driveways), stormwater planter boxes, tree plantings, infiltration trenches, rain barrels, and rain gardens. NORA currently partners with four local Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and non-profit organizations (Dana Brown and Associates, Thrive New Orleans, Ubuntu Construction, and Wingate Engineers) to complete the design and construction work.

Cumulatively, the first 179 completed CAP projects are able to store 532,306 gallons (the equivalent of approximately 6,653 bathtubs) of stormwater in the Gentilly area, allowing it to remain on site and gradually infiltrate the underlying soil instead of entering the City’s drainage system. On average, each CAP home site can manage at least an inch of rainfall on the property.

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“The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority is excited to expand our partnership with the City of New Orleans through the allocation of additional funding to the successful Community Adaptation Program in Gentilly and to introduce these critical green infrastructure interventions to homes and neighborhoods across the city through a new bond-funded program,” said NORA Executive Director Brenda M. Breaux in a press release. “Stormwater management on private property is a key strategy for our city to reduce stormwater runoff and free up existing capacity in our grey infrastructure system. If each property could detain the first inch of rainfall on-site, in addition to the inch that can be managed by our pipes and pumps in the first hour, we could greatly increase our collective capacity and reduce the number and severity of flood events.”

“This additional funding could not come at a better time, as this gives our working-class homeowners an added layer of protection and security in the wake of peak hurricane season at no cost to them,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “I am grateful for this partnership with NORA that will help expand our flood mitigation efforts and further showcase New Orleans as a model for how to build back as a more resilient city. The City of New Orleans remains on the frontlines of climate change and will continue to invest in green infrastructure improvement projects to ensure our people are well-equipped and prepared for this uncertain and challenging future.” 

The $5 million expansion includes an increased allocation of NDR funds for additional projects in Gentilly as well as a new allocation of General Obligation bond funds for projects in neighborhoods across the city. NORA is currently accepting applications from low-to-moderate-income (up to $62,700 for a family of four) homeowners for the existing NDR-funded Community Adaptation Program in Gentilly. The pre-application and more information about the Gentilly program can be found at Applications for the new bond-funded program for the rest of the city are expected to be available this fall

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