Archive for March, 2010

As the leading national nonprofit organization with established roots in New Orleans, we welcomed home seniors displaced by Hurricane Katrina during a grand opening for The Terraces on Tulane on March 26.

Terraces on Tulane

Terraces on Tulane

Located at 3615 Tulane Avenue in Mid-City, The Terraces on Tulane is a 200-unit community for low-income seniors owned by Volunteers of America, one of the largest nonprofit developers and providers of affordable housing nationwide. The organization is well underway toward fulfilling its pledge to build 1,000 units of affordable housing destroyed by Katrina in 2005.

Construction of the $43 million project was funded through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, JP Morgan Chase, the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency, the City of New Orleans and the Major League Baseball Players Trust. The Terraces on Tulane was financed with Gulf Opportunity Zone (Go Zone) Low Income Housing Tax Credits and is one of a small number of communities funded by the program that have finished construction and opened to residents.

Attending the March 26 Grand Opening were Volunteers of America National President Charles W. Gould; Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans CEO Jim LeBlanc; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing Programs Carol Galante; Louisiana Housing Finance Agency Executive Director Milton Bailey; National Affordable Housing Trust President Jim Bowman; Louisiana State Rep. Walker Hines; New Orleans City Council member Stacy Head; and former Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Don Fehr. Several dozen residents of The Terraces on Tulane were also in attendance.

“The courage, the faith and the stories of these and the other seniors who are returning are truly remarkable,” Gould stated. “Their strength has furthered our resolve and commitment to help rebuild New Orleans and provide affordable housing that allows residents to return to the city, re-establish lost communities and re-build their lives. Volunteers of America has been part of this community for more than a century and will continue to play an active role in recovery efforts here and throughout the Gulf Coast region.”

The community features state of the art security and facilities that provide a comprehensive level of care to residents. These include a full commercial kitchen, computer lab, hair salon, fitness center and a medical center with exam rooms. The Terraces on Tulane adheres to Green Building standards such as Energy Star and LEED – even the carpeting is made from recycled PET soda bottles. The community was built on a transit-oriented development infill site in New Orleans that was once the site of the local Social Security Administration office.

The Terraces on Tulane replaces Forest Towers, located in New Orleans East, which closed after suffering heavy damage from Katrina. Many former Forest Towers residents have reunited after recently moving into the new community.

Alice Blue

Alice Blue

For 74-year old Alice Blue, returning to New Orleans and moving into The Terraces on Tulane is a grand homecoming. Her new home’s location near downtown also allows her a level of freedom she lacked in the suburbs. “I’m so excited, I can’t wait,” she exclaims. “I love New Orleans. I don’t have to have a car. Everything is so close, it’s like being independent.”

We have had a significant presence in New Orleans since 1896. The organization has been a leader during the past few years rebuilding affordable housing destroyed by the hurricane and is in the process of restoring new, permanent units in the city. In August 2007, the organization opened the renovated Duvernay Residence on Canal Street – a 70-unit facility for formerly homeless adults. Construction now is underway at Chateau Carre in Gentilly, which will offer 150 affordable apartments, and at The Groves at Mile Branch Creek in Covington, which will offer 94 mixed-income rental units.

In partnership with the Major League Baseball Players Trust and other major donors, we also established the Rental Housing Development Fund, which will be used to develop affordable rental housing in the Gulf Coast region.

View photos of the Grand Opening.

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Rosemarie Rae, Executive Vice President of Volunteers of America, discusses the services we offer older Americans, including our Aging with Options™ initiative, and introduces our upcoming National Press Club panel event set for May 11, 2010.

The May 11th panel event is our second National Press Club event.  And as one of the largest non-profit providers of affordable senior housing as well as a provider of skilled nursing and assisted living care, we are looking forward to a lively discussion around women and aging at this year’s panel event, which will be moderated by Dr. Bob Arnot.

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