FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 21, 2015
Media Contact: Mary Beth Romig
Director of Communications
NORA Celebrated With District E Councilmember James Gray, Make It Right, and Officials from HUD, the Ribbon Cutting of NSP2 Funded Home Built by Make It Right in the Lower 9th Ward
New Orleans, LA — The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) held a ribbon-cutting this morning at 1701 Jourdan Avenue, an NSP2 funded home built by the Make It Right in the Lower 9th Ward.
Councilmember James Gray, NORA's Board Chairman Jim Singleton, officials from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Tom Darden, Executive Director of Make It Right were in attendance.
In January 2010, NORA received its largest direct federal grant in the Authority's history of nearly $30 million dollars through the NSP2 program. This federal stimulus grant provided NORA and its consortium members the necessary funding to revitalize and redevelop neighborhoods across the city. NORA was the only applicant in Louisiana awarded the NSP2 money by creating a consortium of nonprofit and for-profit developers who had the experience and mission to restore housing stock in the Lower 9th Ward, Pontchartrain Park, Gentilly, Broadmoor, Central City, New Orleans East and the 7th Ward neighborhoods.
NORA's original development consortium included Broadmoor Development Corp., Harmony Neighborhood Development, Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative, Make It Right, Lower Ninth Ward Neighborhood Empowerment Network Association, Pontchartrain Park Community Development Corporation, Project Home Again, Rebuilding Together New Orleans, St. Bernard Project, UNITY of Greater New Orleans and Gulf Coast Housing Partnership.
As the program progressed, NORA's development partners grew to include New Community Partners, Redmellon Restoration and Development, Project Homecoming and VOB Development LLC.
“Looking back at all the properties that were damaged by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina and the people who were displaced after the storm and the lives lost, we are honored to have been selected by HUD to be the stewards of the NSP2 funds,” said NORA’s Executive Director Jeff Hebert. “Along with our partners, we’ve been able to construct and renovate affordable, energy-efficient houses so people can once again call New Orleans home.”
This is the 44th home that Make It Right has built in the Lower 9th Ward neighborhood utilizing NSP2 funding since the organization began its work in 2008.
"Participating in the Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 in New Orleans allowed us to build additional green, safe, resilient homes for working families who lost everything in the storm," said Make It Right's Executive Director, Tom Darden. “This program is a great example of non-profits and government collaborating to build affordable housing for people in need."
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program was adopted by Congress in 2008 so HUD could focus on stabilizing neighborhoods hit hard by the housing crisis. HUD awarded an initial round of grants in 2009, but at the time the money couldn't be used for blight caused by natural disasters. Rather, funds were directed based on formula allocations to NSP eligible communities to purchase, repair and resell foreclosed and abandoned homes to qualified buyers.
In February 2009, President Obama's administration authorized a second round of Neighborhood Stabilization funding totaling $1.9 billion, through a competitive process for selecting awardees. NORA was among the 56 grantees selected from approximately 500 applicants.
"NSP2 funds hit the heart of The Recovery Act by funding innovative projects that provided immediate relief and helped to lay a new foundation for long-term economic growth," said Earl Randall, HUD’s New Orleans Field Office Director.
“The Lower 9th Ward has greatly benefited from the NSP2 Program,” said Councilmember James Gray. “If we are to continue to address the affordable housing crisis in District E and the rest of the city, we must continue to fund these successful, innovative public-private partnerships.”
Enterprise Community Partners also played a valuable role in the implementation process by developing criteria for energy efficient construction as well as providing technical assistance to NORA and the Consortium members. Enterprise also assisted in providing financing for some of the units through the Louisiana Loan Fund.
Seven more homes funded by NSP2 dollars are currently under construction, bringing the total to 463 units constructed or renovated with the federal grant.
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.