The homes are the initial phase of a long-term community redevelopment project being conducted in conjunction with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), which provided the necessary land for the project, and citizens groups in New Orleans’ still-devastated Lower 9th Ward.
"More than seven years ago, Hurricane Katrina shattered the American Dream of homeownership fo so many families," said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. "Now, through the incredible teamwork of these home builders, former NFL players and community partners, families will once again have the opportunity to enjoy the sense of pride and accomplishment that homeownership brings."
Only 20 percent of the area’s pre-storm population has returned to the Lower 9th Ward, and swaths of land remain empty. This partnership will help bring homes and businesses back to the Lower 9th Ward and restore the area to the vibrant community it once was.
“These first three homes are just the beginning,” said HBAGNO Executive Vice President Jon Luther. “Our plans and our commitment extend well into the future. With the help of our generous local and national sponsors, and our numerous community partners, we are committed to revitalizing this community, so that everyone who chooses to live here can proudly call it home.”
Early projections for the project as it moves forward include light commercial space which would feature an open-air market, retail space, as well as an Early Childhood Development Center. Touchdown for Homes has also earmarked forty lots, which they plan to develop into similar residential spaces in the coming years.
The homes are certified to the National Green Building Standard, which has stringent efficiency requirements for water and energy consumption, use of land and space and other features. They are also to be certified via Entergy New Orleans’ Energy Smart Program, which helps Entergy New Orleans electric customers save energy and save money through energy assessments and valuable cash rebates on energy efficiency improvements. The homes are outfitted with remote climate-control technology that will greatly reduce homeowners’ utility costs.
Phase One of the project began on December 12. Williams Architecture drew up the plans for three state-of-the-art, environmentally-minded homes. Partnering for the build are Reve' Inc., Integrity Builders, New Beginnings Enterprises, and Champion Builders, all active members of the Louisiana and New Orleans Home Builders Associations.
The completion of the first three homes was a sprint to the goal line, in order to be ready in time for the 2013 Super Bowl just 51 days after the project broke ground.
The highly affordable, energy efficient homes are being built using funds from a Home Building Industry Disaster Relief Fund grant with many of the raw materials donated by community partners such as Lowe’s, Helm Paint & Supply and Southland Plumbing Supply & Lighting.
The homes will be made available first to families displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Potential homeowners are currently being vetted by Neighborhood Housing Services, which teaches lessons in responsible home ownership and financial planning.
“As most of our Chapter members are native New Orleanians, we want to see our city thrive, and we work through our voluntary efforts and community partnerships to ensure that happens. Our relationship with NAHB, LHBA, and HBAGNO has produced a strong desire to create something for our community that will utilize the energy of the Super Bowl as the ‘first play’ but continue well beyond the ‘echo of the last whistle,’" said Bernard Robertson, president of the New Orleans Chapter of the NFLPA. "We relish the opportunity to give back to the communities that gave so much to us.”
Watch this video about the impact of the hurricane on the community, and documenting the first phase of the New Orleans Touchdown for Homes project.
Touchdown for Homes-Louisiana sponsors/partners include:
National: National Association of Home Builders, NFL Former Players Association-New Orleans Chapter, NFL Players Association, Home Building Industry Disaster Relief Fund, Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans, Home Building Careers, Louisiana Homebuilders Disaster Relief Fund, John C. Williams Architects, LLC.
Builders: Integrity Builders, New Beginnings Enterprises, Reve' Inc.
Community Partners: Champion Builders, Common Ground Relief, Paxen Learning Center, New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), NOEL (New Orleans Educations League of the Construction Industry), New Orleans Home & Garden Show, New Orleans Home + Design Show, Neighborhood Housing Services, Lower 9.org, and many neighbors and friends from the Lower 9th Ward and throughout the greater New Orleans community.
Material Suppliers: Companies and organizations generously donating materials and services to the project include: