WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today applauded the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency (LHFA)’s recent move to extend a key tax-credit deadline by three months. LHFA’s action greatly enhances the ability of the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO), currently under HUD control, and its partners to redevelop much of the city’s oldest public housing communities.In its board meeting today, LHFA approved a measure that will extend the carryover and 10 percent test deadline from July 1, 2007 to September 30th, 2007 for projects that received both a tax-credit allocation and HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) piggy-back funds. This extension allows HANO to continue its efforts to build affordable housing at C. J. Peete, B. W. Cooper, St. Bernard and the Lafitte public housing developments.
LHFA awards tax credits to organizations and imposes a carryover and 10 percent test deadline in which those awardees must spend 10 percent of development costs by a certain date to ensure their projects will be finished by the projected completion date. This extension gives HANO and its partners more time to get the environmental clearances necessary for redevelopment.
“We applaud LHFA’s board, its Chairman Wayne Woods and President Milton Bailey for their leadership and vision in taking this vital action which greatly enhances New Orleans housing authority’s ability to fulfill the promise of bringing quality housing to New Orleans’ low-income families,” said Jackson. “Without their help, the rebirth of these neighborhoods could not occur.”
HANO announced in June 2006 that it would redevelop C.J. Peete, B.W. Cooper, Lafitte and St. Bernard to make way for revitalized mixed-income communities that would include public housing, affordable market-rate housing as well as market-rate single-family homes. These four public housing communities suffered damage after Hurricane Katrina rendering a majority of them uninhabitable. HANO has selected developer teams to plan the redevelopment of these developments.