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May 12, 2015

                                   

NEW ORLEANS AFFORDABLE HOUSING INITIATIVE WINS NATIONAL AWARD

Iberville Offsites Honored with Grand Prize at 14th annual
Congress for the New Urbanism Charter Awards

New Orleans, LA — The New Orleans–based affordable housing project Iberville Offsites won Grand Prize honors at the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU)’s 14th annual Charter Awards, which celebrate the year’s greatest accomplishments in architectural, landscape, urban and regional design. The Award was announced at the CNU’s 2015 Annual Congress in Dallas, Texas.

The Charter Awards are given annually to outstanding achievements in design and planning by the nonprofit Congress for the New Urbanism, or CNU, a national group devoted to building walkable and sustainable neighborhoods.

Collaborating partners on the project included the developer Redmellon Restoration & Development, The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), The Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) and the New Orleans Women’s Shelter.

Combining historic preservation with green retrofitting, Iberville Offsites included the restoration of 46 historic, vernacular houses as affordable units using environmentally friendly technology and building practices. Working across Treme’ and the Seventh Ward — the project team utilized low income housing tax credits to make modern, green living in historic structures accessible to low-income and racially diverse long-time residents.

“The Iberville Offsites is an important example of NORA’s core missions – developing projects that honor and incorporate historic preservation, creating affordable housing while working in partnership with local residents, businesses and developers to bring vacant properties back to life,” said Jeff Hebert, Executive Director, NORA.

“But for the public-private partnership that made projects such as this possible, we would not be able to preserve these historic homes and our city’s cultural heritage,” said Neal Morris, Principal, Redmellon Restoration & Development. “We are grateful to our partners who are vital in creating a model for historic housing restoration using appropriate tax credits and subsidies. No other city is doing what New Orleans is doing because of such partnerships and investment.”

NORA invested part of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP2) $29.7 million grant it received in 2010 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)  to support the development of the Iberville Offsites. Six of the 46 units received NSP2 funding totaling $610,000. To date, 452 of the 462 NSP2 units NORA has invested in are completed.

“This project also demonstrates NORA’s infill development strategy, stitching the urban fabric back together to create occupancy where vacant housing once stood,” said Hebert.  “And it was a good way for us to leverage resources we had with a larger pool of resources to accomplish sensitive restoration.”

“Iberville Offsites is representative of so many things that we are trying to do,” said 2015 Charter Awards jury chair and CNU cofounder Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. “Private initiative and public support are skillfully combined.”

With over 2600 members working in communities across North America—from urban centers to historic small towns—CNU connects and empowers the professionals, leaders, advocates and citizens creating places people love. The 2015 Charter Award winners were unveiled at a four-day international conference exploring walkable neighborhood development and sustainable cities.

The Iberville Offsites was also awarded the 2014 National Trust for Historic Preservation/ HUD Secretary's Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation.

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The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority is a catalyst for the revitalization of the city, partnering in strategic developments that celebrate the city’s neighborhoods and honor its traditions.

 

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