NORA to break ground on mixed-income complex in Central City

8 November 2012

The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority is set to break ground on a project to renovate an assisted living facility into a mixed-income complex with the aim of helping people overcome homelessness.

New Orleans City Business

NORA to break ground on mixed-income complex in Central City

New Orleans City Business

8 November 2012

Robin Shannon, Staff Writer

The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority is set to break ground this weekend on a project to rehabilitate a Central City building into a mixed-income complex.

The project is designed to remedy a chronic homelessness problem while also providing affordable homes for the city’s workforce.

On Saturday at 10 a.m. NORA and UNITY of Greater New Orleans, a nonprofit coordinating the work of 60 organizations serving the homeless, will celebrate the beginning of construction on the property. The ceremony is open to the public.

Jasmine Haralson, director of external affairs for NORA, said the building, located at 2101 Louisiana Ave. in Central City, is a former assisted living residence foreclosed on after Hurricane Katrina. She said the building will be rehabilitated and upgraded into mixed income housing known as Permanent Supportive
Housing, which is affordable rental housing with on-site case management services.

Woodward Design+Build is the general contractor on the project and construction has begun already. The construction budget is $6.5 million and the total development cost is roughly $10.8 million, she said. The project should be completed by August.

Haralson said the building will be home to formerly homeless tenants and tenants with incomes at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income level. She said the upgrade will include renovations incorporating office spaces for onsite social services and property and building management staff.

“Renovation includes a mix of 10 efficiencies and 32 one-bedroom units,” Haralson said. “The energy-efficient building will feature a large internal courtyard with a water feature, a fitness room, a computer lab, a multi-purpose room, case management offices, a 24-hour staffed front desk, and security cameras.”

A UNITY survey of the homeless conducted in January showed that 4,903 people are homeless or in temporary homeless shelters in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish on any given night. That number is 2.4 times higher than in January 2005 before Hurricane Katrina, but 58 percent lower than in January 2007, in large part due to the widespread implementation of permanent housing programs for the homeless and at-risk throughout the area such as this project, Haralson said.

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