Cypress Realty Partners to Develop Katrina Cottages for LHFA

BATON ROUGE – Cypress Realty Partners (CRP) is pleased to announce that today it has delivered a signed contract to the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency (LHFA) to serve as the developer of hundreds of permanent homes that will be built in several communities across the state through FEMA’s Alternative Housing Pilot Program (AHPP).

“Today Cypress Realty Partners has taken a giant step forward on the path toward converting our innovative concept into the reality of permanent, safe, attractive, and affordable homes and traditionally designed neighborhoods that will serve as a robust alternative to travel trailers and mobile homes for hundreds of Louisiana families displaced by Katrina and Rita,” said Ben Dupuy of CRP. Dupuy continued, “The Cypress model provides a stronger, smarter, and safer form of disaster recovery housing that generates significant life cycle cost savings over existing options and allows for a smoother and more sustainable transition into new neighborhoods for displaced families. Cypress looks forward to playing a significant role in shaping the future of how governments provide quality affordable housing to citizens in both disaster and non-disaster situations.”

Through its AHPP contract, CRP will develop hundreds of units of Cypress Cottages and Carpet Cottages (images below) in traditionally designed neighborhoods at sites across Louisiana that the LHFA selects for construction.

In June of 2006, Congress enacted legislation that appropriated $400 million to FEMA to conduct the AHPP to encourage the development of innovative solutions for disaster recovery housing designed to improve upon the existing options of travel trailers andmobile homes. In the fall of 2006, FEMA held an AHPP competition among the five Gulf Coast states eligible for portions of the $400 million.

In response to the competition, CRP built a team of professionals and companies to jointly develop a highly competitive proposal. The team consists of CRP as the developer, Andres Duany of DPZ as the urban planner, Marianne Cusato of Cusato cottages as the architect, The Shaw Group as the engineering and construction manager, Lowe’s Home Improvement as the materials provider, and Worthington Industries as the steel frame provider. The concept consists of building permanent, safe, attractive, andaffordable homes planned in traditionally designed neighborhoods and connecting residents to social services that ease their transition into new communities.

In December of 2006, FEMA announced that the concept developed by CRP had beenselected to receive $74.5 million in AHPP grant funding.

In January of 2007, pursuant to FEMA rules that require a state agency administer AHPP grant funds, Governor Blanco selected LHFA to oversee the program.

The LHFA is serving the role of program manager and has responsibility for selecting sites for AHPP housing to be developed, determining eligibility for residency and terms of sale or occupancy, and connecting residents to social services as envisioned in CRP’s concept selected by FEMA.

In October of 2007, the LHFA gave preliminary approval to explore three sites for AHPP neighborhoods: Jackson Barracks on the border of Orleans and St. Bernard parishes, a city-owned parcel in Lake Charles, and the Arden TND development in Baton Rouge. It is anticipated the LHFA will approve additional sites in the coming months.

Separate from AHPP, CRP is developing a community of affordable single-family homes called “Cypress Park” in the Old South Baton Rouge neighborhood similar to those it is building through AHPP.

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