At the February, 2016 Board meeting, the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) Board of Commissioners voted to approve five developers to construct single and two-family affordable homes in the Lower Ninth Ward (the neighborhood most completely destroyed by the levee failure during Hurricane Katrina) in response to the Authority’s Lower 9th Ward Development Initiative Request for Proposals.
The homes will be built on NORA-owned vacant lots within the boundaries of the Industrial Canal, North Galvez Street, Saint Claude Avenue and the St. Bernard Parish Line.
Developers approved by the Board of Commissioners include New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, Inc.; The St. Bernard Project, Inc.; Perez APC/Harmony Neighborhood Development, Inc.; Jourdan Valley Development LLC; and, Neville Development LLC. Proposals were evaluated based on prior experience, financial models, urban design and sustainability, diversity and capacity building along with the efficacy of each applicants marketing plan and disposition strategy.
NORA officials also took into consideration the burgeoning growth in the Lower 9th Ward, including the recent opening of the Sanchez Community Center, the newly-opened CVS Pharmacy, the existing Dr. King Charter School, the new high school, and the continued improvements to the area’s infrastructure. NORA is also offering its Commercial Corridor Gap Financing Program to encourage redevelopment along North Claiborne Avenue and St. Claude Avenue in the Lower 9th Ward.
The proposal from New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, Inc. included a request to acquire 48 vacant lots with a goal to develop 72 housing units. The St. Bernard Project proposed to purchase 36 properties to develop 72 two-family units. The Perez APC and Harmony Neighborhood Development’s joint venture plans for the acquisition of 61 properties, ultimately developing 100 housing units. Jourdan Valley Development requested the possible acquisition of 13 vacant properties to construct 13 two-family homes. Neville Development, LLC, included a request to acquire 30 parcels to develop 35 housing units.
Photo of Lower Ninth Ward shortly after Katrina by Storm Cunningham