Tuesday, March 10, 2009

More Housing Units Coming.... LRA Press Release

State of Louisiana Funds Two Workforce 
Rental Complexes in New Orleans
Preserve, Meridian Developments Hold Grand Opening on Tulane Avenue Corridor



BATON ROUGE, La. -- Representatives from the Louisiana Recovery Authority, the Office of Community Development and the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency joined investors, lawmakers and city officials at today's grand opening of two new multi-family rental housing developments in mid-city New Orleans, representing a combined public and private investment of more than $60 million.
The workforce housing developments, the Preserve and the Meridian, used $17.2 million in Community Development Block Grants from a pool of federal disaster recovery funds earmarked for low-to-moderate income households. The CDBG funds were "piggybacked" by the LRA onto almost $3 million of annual GO Zone Housing Tax Credits administered through the LHFA.
Paul Rainwater, LRA executive director said, "When hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit Louisiana, more than 82,000 units, or 47 percent of the rental housing in the state, were damaged or destroyed. In New Orleans alone, we lost more than 44,000 rental units. These new workforce housing developments will help restore critically needed rental stock to a valued workforce that drives our rebuilding efforts. Our recovery needs workers, and workers need affordable housing."
The new apartment complexes are located along the Tulane Avenue corridor, a section of the city that is vital to the growth of New Orleans because of its proximity to the central business district and the proposed medical complex.
At the Preserve, developer Domain Companies used $15.9 million in CDBG funding and $1.6 million in federal Go Zone Housing Tax Credits to create 183 units - of which 60 percent are market-rate rentals and 40 percent are workforce housing units.
At the Meridian, developer Domain Companies used $1.3 million in CDBG funding and $1.2 million in housing tax credits to create 72 units - of which 100 percent are workforce housing units.
Louisiana has awarded a total of 57 Piggyback projects in areas of the state most impacted by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, amounting to more than $580 million. Twenty-four of the projects, or 42 percent, either have closed on their financing packages or are under construction.
In total, the Piggyback program will create 8,185 rental units to help replace housing stock lost in the storms. More than 80 percent, nearly 7,000 units, will be built in the New Orleans metro area. Right now, 3,831 units are under construction statewide.
A total of 1,800 units are anticipated to come online by June, with an anticipated total of 3,200 units online by Dec. 31.

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