Habitat for Humanity to Invest $4.5M in Jean Lafitte

Unitybuild Interior Latonya
Photo courtesy of the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity said it will help rebuild more than 40 to 60 homes in Lafitte, La., where more than 90% of houses were damaged by Hurricane Ida on Aug. 29, 2021. 

The $4.5 million rebuilding effort is a two-year long undertaking in which the New Orleans-based nonprofit will establish a warehouse, construction center and satellite operations base in Jean Lafitte. NOAHH will partner with the homeowners to design, build and fund the homes, which will be new construction on the same land where their previous homes stood. 

The first NOAHH home in Jean Lafitte will be two bedrooms, two baths with front and back porches. It is expected to be complete and move-in ready on Aug. 29.

The program is a departure from NOAHH’s usual model, in which a homebuyer purchases a home and land from Habitat at a price that’s below the market rate. NOAHH acts as the lender and charges no interest. In lieu of a cash down payment, the homebuyer works 250 volunteer hours. In Jean Lafitte, the homebuyers already own land. Cost of construction will vary from home to home, pending insurance claims, grants, individual design preferences and other variables. The average monthly house note, or mortgage, will be about $500.

“Jean Lafitte is a very special community that so many cherish and that we’re happy to support,” said Marguerite Oestreicher, executive director of the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. “Our goal is to help rebuild stronger, utilizing local suppliers and workers to construct elevated homes that are affordable, energy efficient and well-suited to this environment.”

For the Jean Lafitte rebuilding effort, NOAHH will partner with Rural Studios, an Auburn, Ala.-based design group. Rural Studios has built for almost 40 years in south Alabama and northwest Florida.

“Our partnership with Rural Studios allows us to offer a slightly smaller footprint that is incredibly energy efficient that will be affordable to own and maintain,” Oestreicher said.

Other partners include Carrier and Tracey Maynor, philanthropist and owner of Jean Lafitte-based Griffin Fishing Charters.

“Carrier is proud to provide home comfort solution systems in support of the Jean Lafitte community and its rebuild,” said Justin Keppy, the company’s president.

Categories: Flood News, Nonprofit, Real Estate, Today’s Business News