A New Beginning
In partnership with housing builder Columbia Residential and the Housing Authority of New Orleans; Bayou District Foundation is now developing more than 700 mixed-income residences in New Orleans at the site of the former St. Bernard Housing Development.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama
& Mayor Mitch Landrieu at Columbia Parc at the Bayou District...August 29, 2010
Bayou District Foundation in conjunction with Columbia Residential was selected by HUD through an RFQ process in March of 2007 to serve as the development partner with the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO), for the St. Bernard Public Housing Community. Prior to the RFQ submission, architects and construction experts consulted with former residents, neighborhood and religious leaders in the crafting of the plans for the new buildings.

Once it was decided that a mixed income building plan was to be adopted, Columbia Residential and Bayou District Foundation flew over 30 former St. Bernard Housing Community residents to Atlanta to tour similar mixed income properties that Columbia had constructed.

The Phase 1 plans were approved by City Planning on August 27th, 2008 and the New Orleans City Council by a 7-0 vote on September 18th, 2008.Construction of Phase I of the housing portion of the Bayou District Foundation, which includes 466 mixed income units commenced in December of 2008. 564 families are currently living in Columbia Parc with entire first phase completed in November 2010. Phase IIA was completed in 2010 with Phase IIB completed in 2012. A 121 unit senior housing complex will be completed in March of 2013.

Funding of the initial housing phase was  provided through the issuance of Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and CDBG dollars provided by the State of Louisiana through the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA). Infrastructure dollars were provided by HANO.The principal LIHTC equity investor is AEGON; whose North American base of operations is in Cedar Rapids Iowa.

The 564 units of mixed-income housing are made up of townhouse and carriage style homes.

Each rental unit features hardwood floors, granite counter-tops, stainless steel appliances
and washer/dryer. The original 1948 street grid has been restored to reconnect the neighborhood to Paris Ave & St. Bernard Ave.

There are also extensive community enhancements including effective low profile security and extensive landscaping.

Groundbreaking December 7, 2008
Upcoming Plans
Phase I and Phase II signaled the arrival of award winning mixed income development to Gentilly. 

Phase IV planning is currently underway and includes a grocery store, a small pharmacy,a permanent  medical clinic and other commercial assets that have not been rebuilt since the storm.

Phase IV also includes the construction of affordable single family homes in and around the Bayou District.

With the completion of phases I, II, III of the overall housing plan;

The Bayou District Foundation and its partners will ultimately provide a total of 1,325 units that include:

  1. 125 senior housing units
  2. 300 affordable for sale units
  3. 900 mixed income rental housing units. These will include 300 public housing units, 300 affordable (tax credit) units and 300 market rate units.
This housing effort represents one of the largest urban renewal projects currently underway in the United States.                                                                                                                                                    


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