Volunteers Of America Celebrates Grand Opening In Terrebonne Parish – Bayou Cane Apartments Add 82 Newly-Constructed Apartment Homes To Affordable-Living Community
NEW ORLEANS – The Bayou Cane Apartments located on Synergy Center Boulevard in Houma, LA, added 82 newly-constructed apartment homes to the community. The four-acre landscaped site features five, two- and three-story garden-style apartment buildings, a playground, community center, dog park, on-site parking and a nature trail.
A ribbon-cutting will be held on Thursday, November 5, 2015, at 11:00 a.m., and tours of the property will be offered following the ceremony.
Bayou Cane Apartments is an affordable-living community where a portion of the apartment homes are reserved for working individuals and families earning up to 80 percent of area median income. Pre-leasing of these new one and two-bedroom apartment homes began in summer 2015, and approximately 85 percent of the units have been leased.
"Bayou Cane is our newest affordable-living community for working families and one of the most unique," said Jim LeBlanc, President/ CEO of Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans. “We feel privileged to help serve this community by providing a safe, comfortable and uplifting environment for individuals employed in key service sectors."
The Bayou Cane Development will receive certification as an Enterprise Green Community. The apartment homes are designed with many energy-efficient features, including a high albedo roof, and energy-efficient windows and doors. Low-flow plumbing fixtures and energy-efficient appliances are provided, and lighting is Energy Star compliant with warm fluorescent and LED fixtures. Parking spaces are constructed of limestone aggregate to improve water absorption on-site.
Within the new community, 15 apartment homes are designed to serve individuals with disabilities, as well as allow for older tenants to age in-place without being displaced from their homes when their mobility begins to decrease.
"Volunteers of America has a reputation of doing excellent work and being active members of the communities in which they serve," said Parish President Michel Claudet.
Volunteers of America will maintain a presence at the property offering an array of supportive services to residents. Among these services, staff will provide referrals to other community resources critical to maintaining residential stability and economic self-sufficiency.
"We were thrilled to be involved in the development of Bayou Cane apartments, and it is a great example of how a public-private partnership in affordable housing development works," said Louisiana Housing Corporation Interim Executive Director Michelle Thomas. "Bayou Cane showcases what today's affordable and sustainable housing looks like – both in Terrebonne Parish and across the state."
Bayou Cane Apartments was made possible through $5.7 million in Community Development Block Grant funding awarded by Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government to Renaissance Neighborhood Development Corporation (RNDC). These funds were leveraged with additional private investment equity and bank financing. RNDC is a subsidiary of Volunteers of America whose mission is to provide quality rental housing that is affordable to working households in Southeast Louisiana. The general contractor for the apartments is Donahue Favret Contractors, Inc. and the Architect is MSH Architects, LLC.
"With the addition of the 82 Bayou Cane Apartment units, Terrebonne Parish has greatly expanded its affordable housing stock, which was depleted by hurricanes Gustav and Ike," said Pat Forbes, executive director of the Office of Community Development-Disaster Recovery Unit. "By dedicating this disaster recovery funding to the construction of these energy efficient and resilient apartments, the parish has demonstrated a forward-thinking commitment to providing quality workforce housing for its residents."
In addition to Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government financing, Bayou Cane Apartment partners included Louisiana Housing Corporation, State of LA Division of Administration Office of Community Development, Enterprise Community Investment, Inc., American Express and Capital One National Association.
In January 2016 Volunteers of America will expand its reach in the community by providing much needed senior housing. In partnership with the Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government and Terrebonne Council on Aging, Volunteers of America will break ground on senior apartment homes at the old Houma Elementary school. This new development will feature 103 new one and two-bedroom apartment homes for active and independent seniors age 62+ years and is expected to open in spring 2017.