This past month, New Orleans-based developer Redmellon Restoration and Development placed as a silver medalist in the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence. The development team submitted its Iberville Offsite Homes, a project designated to rehabilitate 26 residences into 46 single- and multi-family homes for low-income residents. The developments are intended for individuals who now live or lived in the Iberville neighborhood pre-Katrina.
Redmellon executed the Iberville Offsite Home project in three separate sets. The developer completed the first to sets—and considered for the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence—and will finish the third set in the coming years adding several more home.
The unique development took an unconventional approach to developing low-income housing. Instead of tearing down blighted homes, Redmellon rehabilitated the sites to make the homes accessible to Hurricane Katrina refugees while maintaining the distinct architecture of the community.
Redmellon partnered with Housing Authority of New Orleans to find former Iberville residents and low-income tenants in need of housing. Based on the location of the particular site, HANO qualifies low-income as a household making between 20 and 60 percent of the Area Median Income of New Orleans, which the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development values at $60,767.
“In a rapidly changing post-Katrina environment, the project provides long term affordable housing for traditional residents of modest means who might otherwise be displaced by gentrification,” the developer wrote in its narrative description for the national award.
The developer partnered with the New Orlean’s Women and Children Shelter to find residents in need of housing. In fact, the developer pledged to donate the $10,000 silver medalist prize to the Shelter on receipt.
Redmellon noted that most housing subsidies encourage developers to build new apartment complexes, especially those that utilize a Smart Housing Mix. The developer considered this to an alternative to affordable housing, since rent has skyrocketed over the last few years.
The apartments in this project utilize solar power to keep utility expenses low for incoming residents.
- New Orleans developer ranks in national excellence award [Curbed NOLA]
- FY 2017 Median Family Income Documentation System [HUD]
- City Planning Commission suggests mandated zones to tackle affordable housing [Curbed NOLA]
- Median rent in New Orleans continues to rank among nation’s most expensive [Curbed NOLA]