December 2009

Make It Right – New Orleans, LLC

THE PROJECT

In April and December 2009, AMCREF Community Capital (AMCREF) provided $11.7 million and $1.2 million respectively of NMTC financing to Make It Right – New Orleans, LLC (MIR). MIR is a nonprofit helping former residents of the Lower 9th Ward return home. MIR assembled preeminent architects to create a new model for green high-performance affordable housing that can be replicated nationwide. MIR is building 150 homes, which are raised to avoid floods, able to withstand hurricane force winds, use environmentally safe materials, and reduce homeowner energy costs by 75% (LEED Platinum). MIR is selling the homes to low-income former neighborhood residents at an affordable price, while also providing home ownership and financial counseling services. Prior to Katrina the 9th Ward boasted the highest home ownership rate in New Orleans (60%). The storm destroyed over 4,000 9th Ward homes, and 3.5 years after Katrina, the neighborhood remained deserted and devastated because most former residents could not afford to rebuild. MIR is instrumental in bringing life back to a seemingly abandoned neighborhood, having a profound impact on the LICs’ recovery by enabling residents to return home. The project is located in highly distressed GO Zone LICs that were severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

COMMUNITY IMPACT

  • Employment: 20 FTEs created, 26 FTEs maintained and 190 construction jobs. MIR emphasizes local contractors and residents, provides job training in desirable green building skills, provides benefits and pays wages well above above the area living wage.
  • Affordable Housing Services, such as Homeowner Financing, Counseling and Outreach: Over 65% of the MIR homeowners are LIPs and over 85% are minorities. MIR is restoring a high rate of home ownership by LIPs to the 9th Ward through discounted sales, financial counseling, gap financing and forgivable 2nd mortgages as necessary.
  • Green Building Design: MIR created a new model of affordable green housing that can be replicated nationwide by using the latest in design, technology, energy efficiency and environmentally sustainable materials. Health, safety, storm resistant building and maintaining cultural identity are prioritized. Homes are LEED platinum and reduce energy costs by approximately 75%.
  • Catalytic Effect: MIR is helping to revitalize an entire LIC neighborhood.
  • NMTC Awards: MIR was highlighted in 2011 by the CDFI Fund as a successful “Innovations in Government” award submission. MIR was also featured in a video case study at a Reznick conference in 2011 and received “2009 Metro QLICI of the Year” Honorable Mention from Novogradac.