A new development in New Orleans is going above and beyond just providing workforce housing. It’s creating jobs and training, improving nutrition for children, and helping generate revenue that can be used toward other mission-related activities.
Renaissance Neighborhood Development Corp. (RNDC), a subsidiary of nonprofit Volunteers of America (VOA), created the new property on a two-acre site along the Mississippi River by transforming two historic buildings: the Lykes Steamship Building, which now provides 52 moderate-income apartments, and the Centennial Cotton Press Building, which houses Fresh Food Factor, a program that VOA Greater New Orleans launched in 2013 that prepares and delivers nutritious meals for area public and charter schools. The latter building will also include a training program for individuals, including veterans, who want to gain skills in the food service industry.
“We hope it will be an example of good collaboration and social impact,” says Victor Smeltz, RNDC executive director.
Much of the $19 million project was financed with New Markets Tax Credits, with Enterprise Community Investment and VOA providing allocations. U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corp. was the equity investor and provided the federal historic tax credit equity. Tax Credit Capital provided the state historic tax credit equity.