NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today awarded the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) a $20 million HOPE VI Revitalization grant to support the redevelopment of the nearly 70-year-old C.J. Peete public housing complex into an attractive mixed-income community.
HANO will use the funding to revitalize the C.J. Peete public housing development. Built nearly 70 years ago, C.J. Peete is comprised of 723 units, all of which will be revitalized. The redevelopment plan includes the historic preservation and renovation of a residential building, as well as the administration building and community center, for use in the revitalized community.
As part of the HOPE VI grant, HANO intends to rebuild 510 units consisting of 193 public housing units, 144 affordable rental units, 123 market rate rental units and 50 affordable homes for purchase. Of the 510 units, 482 will be located on the original development’s site. Prior to receiving this HOPE VI grant, the plan for C.J. Peete included the construction of 460 units on-site. This HOPE VI Revitalization grant will provide additional subsidy for the 460 units and allow HANO to construct the 50 additional affordable homeownership units (22 on-site and 28 off-site). The HOPE VI grant will also provide additional community and support services for residents who resided at C.J. Peete as part of the Community and Supportive Services component of the grant.
At the time Hurricane Katrina’s flood waters severely damaged C.J. Peete, only 146 units were occupied. Families who resided at C.J. Peete who had to relocate in the wake of Katrina will be among those who receive priority to reoccupy the new units once they are constructed.
HANO’s overall public housing recovery effort will include approximately 5,100 housing opportunities for families and 3,000 new housing vouchers will be provided to low-income families who resided at the “Big Four” public housing communities that are slated for redevelopment, namely C.J. Peete, B.W. Cooper, St. Bernard and Lafitte. Overall, more than 8,000 families will be assisted – an increase of more than 3,000 families over pre-Katrina levels.
HANO will pay relocation and reoccupancy costs for residents as needed. Former residents of C.J. Peete will be given the opportunity to move back to the newly constructed units. Alternatively, if residents choose not to return to public housing, they may keep their voucher. In addition, community and supportive services, such as employment and education related services, child care, health care, and homeownership and credit counseling, will be provided to all impacted families.
HANO was selected from a pool of 29 applications HUD received from public housing authorities (PHAs) across the country. Including this grant, New Orleans has been awarded four HOPE VI Revitalization grants. Other grantees that received HOPE VI Revitalization for the 2007 funding round are housing authorities in Boston, Fayetteville, N.C., Phoenix, AZ, and Washington, D.C. Including these grants, HUD has awarded 242 HOPE VI Revitalization grants since 1993 to 128 PHAs that total approximately $5.9 billion.
HUD’s HOPE VI Program was created in 1992 following a report by the National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing, which concluded that approximately 86,000 public housing units in the U.S. needed revitalization.
Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) are competitively selected for HOPE VI grants based on many factors including the effectiveness and project readiness of their revitalization plans. HUD gives PHAs the flexibility to develop revitalization plans that meet their local needs. Among other criteria, grant awards are also based on the capacity of the housing authority and its developer to administer and manage completion of the revitalization effort; the severity of physical distress of the development; the ability of the housing authority to supplement the HOPE VI grant with funding from other sources, private, state or local government; and ability to provide supportive services to affected residents.