Habitat homebuyers celebrate home under construction in Lafitte
LAFITTE, La. – On August 29, the first anniversary of Hurricane Ida and the 17th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans area Habitat for Humanity was joined by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Jefferson Community Foundation and a host of elected officials to celebrate the construction of the first Habitat home as part of Habitat’s $4.6 million reconstruction project in Lafitte.
The home, located at 4852 Oak Drive, will be purchased via an interest-free loan by longtime Lafitte residents Corrine and Darrel Percle, who previously lived in a trailer on the family site. Percles will live in the house with their two grandchildren.
Also in attendance were Jean Lafitte Town Mayor Timothy P. Kerner Jr., State Rep. Timothy P. Kerner, Jefferson Parish Councilman Ricky Templet, Jefferson Parish President, Cynthia Lee Sheng, and Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser.
The town of Jean Lafitte, 20 miles southwest of New Orleans, suffered catastrophic damage during Hurricane Ida in August 2021, when 90% of its housing stock was damaged or destroyed. Since then, NOAHH has worked to help homeowners find their way back to normalcy. GNOF and JCF pledged $150,000.00 for the reconstruction effort.
“On the anniversary of Hurricanes Ida and Katrina, the Greater New Orleans Foundation is thrilled to award an additional grant of $75,000 to the New Orleans region Habitat for Humanity, along with a grant of $75,000 from the Jefferson Community Foundation to support Habitat’s recovery and rebuilding efforts,” GNOF President and CEO Andy Kopplin said in a press release. “After the Ida strike, we We were proud to support Habitat’s rebuilding program with an initial grant of $75,000 and today’s announcement builds on that long-term partnership and continues the foundation’s commitment to long-term recovery. term of the region.
The program departs from the usual NOAHH model, in which a New Orleans homebuyer purchases a home and the land it sits on from Habitat, paying a monthly mortgage below the market rate. In Jean Lafitte, the buyers already own the land on which the house will be built. The cost of construction will vary from home to home, pending insurance claims, subsidies, individual design preferences, and other variables. The average monthly house note, or mortgage, will be around $500.
“The Jefferson Community Foundation is extremely grateful for the rebuilding work that Habitat for Humanity of the New Orleans area continues to provide to our community,” said Christine T. Briede, Executive Director of JCF. “This $75,000 matching grant will allow more families in Jefferson Parish to get back on their feet and back to their homes after the devastation of Hurricane Ida. We look forward to continuing to partner with organizations such as the Greater New Orleans Foundation and Habitat for Humanity as we work to make our parish whole again.
The Habitat house in Lafitte will have “fortified gold standards” for housing, which means the houses are raised at least 12 feet, have taller joists, reinforced roofs, hurricane straps and d other features that make it less vulnerable to flooding and hurricane-force winds. . NOAHH currently has a list of over 100 households that have expressed interest, with 30 households currently working through the process of compiling the documentation needed to qualify for a home.
The homes were designed in partnership with Rural Studios, an Auburn, Alabama-based design group whose mission is to enable sustainable, healthy rural living through both housing and life support systems to sustain communities. . Rural Studios has been building for nearly 40 years in southern Alabama and northwest Florida.
“Rebuilding after a disaster is a long-term process,” said Marguerite Oestreicher, executive director of Habitat. “Our efforts in Lafitte are just beginning, with many more homes to repair and build. The support of funders like the Greater New Orleans Foundation and the Jefferson Community Foundation is essential to the success of the business and the prosperity of this historic, hardworking community for generations to come.
Other major partners in the rebuilding effort include Carrier, which will provide HVAC systems for each Habitat home in Lafitte; and Tracey Maynor, philanthropist and owner of Jean Lafitte-based Griffin Fishing Charters.