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A former church becomes affordable housing in the 7th Ward

Officials celebrated the 53-unit complex’s grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today.

Photo courtesy Leslie Doles of Doles PR

The former Sacred Heart church on St. Bernard Avenue in the 7th Ward has been renovated and converted into a 53-unit apartment complex serving low-income residents. Officials celebrated the building’s grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today.

“Housing affordability is at a crisis point in New Orleans, making projects like this one vitally important,” mayor LaToya Cantrell stated in a press release.

Forty-seven of the one- and two-bedroom apartments are housed in a new four-story building by the church. Its ground floor is home to retail space and nonprofit youth writing group 826 New Orleans. The circa-1955 church contains six apartments, a mail room, and a community space that was renovated by JHP Architecture and Gulf Engineers & Consultants. They preserved the church’s 25-foot ceilings and original elements such as exposed brick, stone carvings, and brass pendant lighting. Former confession booths now serve as study nooks.

“Together with Providence Community Housing, we have created a one-of-a-kind place for residents and visitors that honors the beauty of the historic site while serving today’s families with modern amenities,” stated Columbia Residential founder and principal Noel Khalil in a press release.

Nine apartments are available at market rates, and the remaining 44 units are allocated to low-income tenants who earn below 60 percent of the median income in the 7th Ward—which is less than $36,000 for a family of four. The apartments are equipped with Energy Star appliances and connected by a shared courtyard. Other amenities include a fitness center, business center, laundry center, and gated parking lot.

The $13 million project includes $9 million in low-income tax credits and forgivable loans from the federal government, according to reporting from The New Orleans Advocate. For leasing info, visit Sacred Heart’s website or call (504) 944-0506.