COLUMBIA PARC AT THE BAYOU DISTRICT
Developers: Columbia Residential and The Bayou District Foundation of New Orleans
Architects: JHP Architecture/Urban Design (design and master plan architect) and Broadmoor Design Group of New Orleans (construction architect of record)
Major Funders: AEGON USA Realty Advisors; Oak Grove Capital; Regions Bank; Freddie Mac; Housing Authority of New Orleans; Louisiana Housing Finance Agency; Louisiana Office of Community Development; Department of Housing and Urban Development
NEW ORLEANS—The St. Bernard public housing development in the Gentilly neighborhood had been in decline for years, with only 900 of 1,400 public housing units occupied in August 2005 when Hurricane Katrina caused massive flooding and more damage.
To transform the site, developers Atlantabased Columbia Residential and local partner The Bayou District Foundation of New Orleans, with help from the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO), took a holistic approach on a master plan that would include mixed-income rental and forsale housing, schools, retail, and recreation.
Columbia Parc at the Bayou District, the first phase of housing, was completed in November 2010. Of the 466 units, 157 units are set aside for public housing residents, 160 low-income housing tax credit units for residents earning less than 60 percent of the area median income, and 149 units at market-rate. Just more than 100 families from the former St. Bernard development had returned to Columbia Parc as of mid-June.
“Through the extraordinary efforts of many different partners and stakeholders, along with the overall master plan and commitment to the quality of the product, the vision of a truly mixedincome community has been realized by more than 400 families in this important New Orleans neighborhood,” says Jim Grauley, president and COO of Columbia Residential.
The $124 million development is funded with Gulf Opportunity Zone tax credits, with AEGON USA Realty Advisors as the investor; a Community Development Block Grant through the Louisiana Office of Community Development's Disaster Recovery Unit; acquisition and construction loans through HANO and the Department of Housing and Urban Development; construction and bridge financing through Regions Bank; and a permanent first mortgage through Oak Grove Capital and Freddie Mac. —Christine Serlin
FRAZIER COURTYARD HOMES
Developer: Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity
Architect: Scott Stone, Townhaven Homes
Major Funders: City of Dallas; Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs; Department of Housing and Urban Development; Corporate and Faith-based Donors
DALLAS—Forty affordable single-family homes now stand on the site of Frazier Courts, a crimeridden and decayed public housing project that was comprised of 250 barracks-style units built in 1942 and 300 units built in 1952.
A HOPE VI grant to the Dallas Housing Authority in 2003 led to the demolition of Frazier Courts and ultimately to a $60 million project to replace the 55 acres of public housing with affordable rental housing and homeownership units. The Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity's Frazier Courtyard Homes represents the final piece of that redevelopment plan, along with another 11 lease-purchase homes to be built by Habitat's partner Innercity Community Development Corp.
The last Habitat home was completed in December 2010, and all have been sold and are occupied, with the average home buyer at 43 percent of the area median income. “Everyone we help has income. The misconception about Habitat is that we're giving away homes,” says Bill Hall, CEO of Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity. “But these are hardworking, ambitious families. We break that rental cycle."
The homes are built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver standards, which will provide the residents with savings on energy costs for the long term.
Support for the $5.3 million project came from federal funds through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, including the National Stabilization Program 2, and the Environmental Protection Agency; state funds through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs; and local funds through the city of Dallas, Dallas Housing Authority, and the North Texas Council of Governments. Dallas Area Habitat raised more than $2 million in private funds. —Christine Serlin
Developer: Abode Communities
Architect: Abode Communities
Major Funders: Union Bank; Wells Fargo; City of Los Angeles; California Department of Housing and Community Development; California Tax Credit Allocation Committee; California Community Reinvestment Corp.
VAN NUYS, CALIF.—Abode Communities' 52-unit Ivy Terrace has been able to fill two needs in a community with a significant unmet housing demand: 37 units for extremely low- and lowincome families and 15 units for survivors of domestic violence.
Robin Hughes, president and CEO of Abode, says the lease-up process serves as an example of just how significant the need is.
She says 600 applications were received during the leaseup process for the one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom units, which serve residents earning between 30 percent and 60 percent of the area median income, and the project was 100 percent leased within two days of receiving its certificate of occupancy.
Abode prides itself on the services it provides. Case management and counseling as well as on-site women and children support groups, health and wellness activities, and life skill and job resources are offered for residents.
After-school tutoring, with a healthy snack, and enrichment programs also are offered for the youth residents.
Over the last five years, Abode also has made a commitment to sustainability. Ivy Terrace, which is expected to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design platinum designation, includes solar panels that power 100 percent of the utilities for the common areas, energy-efficient HVAC systems, low-E windows, Energy Star appliances and light fixtures, and high-efficiency plumbing equipment.
The $23.6 million development, completed in July 2010, had an array of state and local financing, including funds from the California Department of Housing and Community Development Multifamily Housing Program, the City of Los Angeles Housing Department Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles. It also received construction and permanent financing from Wells Fargo and California Community Reinvestment Corp. and low-income housing tax credit equity from Union Bank. —Christine Serlin
Developer: MidPen Housing Corp.
Architect: Jon Worden Architects
Major Funders: Union Bank; California Community Reinvestment Corp.; City of San Mateo; County of San Mateo; Housing Endowment and Regional Trust; California Department of Housing and Community Development; California Tax Credit Allocation Committee
SAN MATEO, CALIF.—San Mateo County in the San Francisco Bay Area is considered one of the most expensive housing markets in the nation. For MidPen Housing Corp., that need for affordable housing was evident when it received 1,300 applications for the 68 units at its Peninsula Station.
“The need is really striking,” says MidPen President Matt Franklin.
Completed in October 2010, this transitoriented development is the result of a strong public/private partnership among the developer, the city, and the county, and one of the first projects to support the Grand Boulevard Initiative, which is a regional collaboration dedicated to the revitalization of the El Camino Real corridor through San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.
When the project had been threatened in early 2008 by the state freeze on bond funds, MidPen's local partners came to the rescue. The city, the county, and the Housing Endowment and Regional Trust, a local group that raises funds from public and private sources to meet critical housing needs, were able to bridge the state gap to allow the deal to close.
“They are just pretty remarkable partners in terms of being with it on smart, high-density infill," says Franklin.
Financing for the $33.2 million development also included low-income housing tax credit equity from Union Bank, HOME and Community Development Block Grant funds from San Mateo County, a city of San Mateo loan, a permanent loan from California Community Reinvestment Corp., and a state Department of Housing and Community Development infill infrastructure grant.
The project features eight one-bedroom, 32 two-bedroom, and 28 three-bedroom units for residents earning between 30 percent and 60 percent of the area median income. MidPen offers a range of services and amenities for both children and adults, including free transit passes for residents, after-school programs and tutoring, and financial literacy courses. —Christine Serlin