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Mayor LaToya Cantrell and City of New Orleans officials today announced the receipt of a $340,000 federal grant to elevate the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club headquarters in the Treme neighborhood to make it more resilient in the face of future flood events.

“Zulu is an invaluable part of our Carnival culture, and their headquarters is a gem of the Treme community. Zulu also has experienced a challenging year in 2020 considering the flooding that constantly threatens the stability of their historic headquarters. That’s why we’re excited to see this project become a reality,” said Mayor Cantrell.

"The unprecedented hurricane season we experienced this year is an important reminder of the real risk many of New Orleans’ older buildings regularly face,” said Collin Arnold, Director, New Orleans Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness. “While we were luckily spared major flooding, that will not always be the case. That’s why it’s so important that we continue to invest in projects like this that reduce the risk of future damage while also protecting our city’s most valued institutions.”

"Too often the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club has experienced repeated damage of our historic property due to major street flooding," said Elroy James, President, Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club. "Our partnership with the City of New Orleans will allow us to protect this important asset to our community for years to come."

“Over the years, New Orleans has been one of the top cities in the nation when it comes to incorporating storm water management practices in our public and private projects. The federal elevation grant is a testament to Mayor Cantrell’s ongoing commitment to make the City’s infrastructure more resilient and modernized for flood-prone areas. The award is also further proof of the cultural significance and perseverance of the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club and its bond with the city of New Orleans,” said Jared C. Brossett, City Councilmember, District D.

The historic structure, built in 1920, has experienced repeated flooding and as a result has been designated a Severe Repetitive Loss (SRL) property by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). That designation made the property a good candidate for FEMA’s Flood Mitigation Assistance Program, which provides funding to reduce the flood risk to buildings insured by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

In 2018, the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP) worked with the Zulu organization to develop a funding application to elevate the structure and was notified of the award earlier this fall. The approximately $340,000 award will fund 100% of the elevation project and will bring the building to one foot above the base flood elevation, consistent with the City’s modern building codes. This is the first-ever elevation grant secured by the City for a non-residential property and is expected to be completed by Spring 2022.

Owners of residential or commercial properties who are interested in seeking elevation assistance can contact NOHSEP’s Hazard Mitigation Office by emailing To be eligible for elevation assistance, properties must be insured by NFIP.


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