Mayor Cantrell Underscores Importance of Blight Eradication with Cindy Place Demolition

September 9, 2020

Mayor LaToya Cantrell joined other officials to mark the demolition of Cindy Place, an abandoned four-building apartment complex in New Orleans East that has been a magnet for a range of criminal activities for many years.

Heavy equipment demolishing building
Heavy equipment removing buildings at Cindy Place Apartments. Photo Credit: City of New Orleans

For years, Cindy Place has been cited for activities such as drug sales, prostitution and illegal dumping that have adversely impacted the quality of life in the area. Along with this demolition, there will be a comprehensive cleanup within the immediate area. The City sees these efforts as not only stabilizing the area but also priming it for potential redevelopment for affordable housing units.  Read more. Continue reading “Mayor Cantrell Underscores Importance of Blight Eradication with Cindy Place Demolition”

Councilwoman Nguyen and Giving Hope Senior Living Community to Host Community Meeting 

On Monday, August 31, 2020 at 5:30 PM, Councilwoman Nguyen and Giving Hope Senior Living Community will host a virtual community meeting to discuss Zoning Docket 69/20, a zoning change request from C-3 to MU-2 at 13350 I-10 Service Rd, New Orleans, LA 70128. This request would allow the new construction of the senior living community by Giving Hope.

Giving Hope plans to transform an 18-acre plot of undeveloped land that it owns in New Orleans East into a new neighborhood of 85 single-family homes devoted to community members who are age 55 and older. This neighborhood will be the first of its kind for New Orleans and serve as a model for how today’s seniors can live independently in their own homes. It will also be a model for quality senior living in the Southeast.

Join the meeting at:

https://bit.ly/GivingHopeProject

Meeting ID: 384 924 5391 

Passcode: GH

Call In: +1 312 626 6799

Meeting ID: 384 924 5391 

Passcode: 852331

Groundbreaking ceremony held for $26 million apartment complex in New Orleans East

On Thursday, August 13, District E City Councilmember Cyndi Nguyen broke ground on The Reveal apartments, which she described as affordable quality housing for families in the area.

According to a press release from Councilmember Nguyen’s office, The $42 million gated community, owned by The Commonwealth Companies, will provide 150-units of 1, 2, 3, & 4-bedroom affordable homes to families making at or below 60% of the Area Median Income in New Orleans East. The property will also include a community room, fitness center, and physical therapy room, library, playground, walking/bike path, splash pad, gazebo, and an on-site property management office. 

The property management office will also have a Resident Care Coordinator whose sole job is to connect residents to available resources. The Resident Care Coordinator will also help families connect to Head Start programs and have private counseling offices so that providers have a place to meet with residents. The model Commonwealth follows is based on best practices in supportive housing, and especially in the housing first model. Residents will also be able to utilize an on-site business incubator, which will assist residents in technology access and business services such as offices and a conference room. 

The Reveal Apartments will be located at 13707 Chef Menteur Highway.

Reaction to the news was mixed, and one resident, upset about what is perceived as a lack of attention to bringing businesses to the area, sent a letter to Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Councilmember Nguyen.

The content of the letter follows:

“I am a New Orleans East resident. I heard on the news this morning that a new development for low income housing is coming to the east. I am not happy about this. The east has suffered since the introduction of section 8 housing and has yet to recover like surrounding New Orleans areas. Our property values have been static for years and yet our concerns are local parades and snowball socials. We need some major activity that will boost the economy for this area and not things that bring no value or are detrimental to a neighborhood starving to just be viable. We long for a better quality of life and hope for some attention that other close-by areas enjoy. It is awful that this new development was allowed to sneak pass us. I would rather the tires because it does not bring bring crime and diminish the little quality left in the neighborhood. I have nothing against affordable housing, but New Orleans does not have a good reputation for managing it, and eventually it becomes blighted and crime ridden. A gate around a community does not satisfy us. There are enough existing apartment complexes in the area that could satisfy this need.

On another note, something needs to be done with the Sewerage and Waterboard. My water bill has been wrong for two months. I am receiving two bills in one month. I am tired of being extorted by the Waterboard. You can’t call them to resolve issues quickly and it is a big inconvenience to visit their office. This needs to be handled immediately.

There is no wonder why people move to other parishes. It is hard and too difficult to live in New Orleans. We have too many problems that get shuffled around. We need to focus on the important issues so that we can better our neighborhoods. It is ridiculous that I have to write about developers taking advantage of our area and being robbed by the water company.

As elected leaders, I impose on you to do something.”

Councilmember Nguyen responded to each of the concerns by stating that it is a fact that not everyone can afford to purchase a home. However, the city of New Orleans has been working to provide financial support to help people to become first time home buyers. She added that many of the current apartments in the East are in bad condition and the administration has been working to address this concern with the departments of Code Enforcement and Safety and Permits.  The plan also appears to be to force out the poorly maintained properties by creating competition with quality housing.

Councilmember Nguyen also emphasized that “Affordable housing does not mean low income housing. Affordable means not allowing people to use 30% of the income for housing where they can use the saving to take care of childcare, food and transportation.”

She also remarked that this project was introduced to the community and through several meetings to get input from community members. “I truly believe that as we attract responsible and accountable developers/owners, we will be able to shift the narrative for the entire district and city,” she said.
Councilmember Nguyen also acknowledged that the concern with the Sewerage and Water Board impacts a large number of residents and said that the agency has developed a plan to address the issue.

CITY OF NEW ORLEANS: MAYOR HELPS BREAK GROUND ON $32M LAKE FOREST MANOR DEVELOPMENT IN NEW ORLEANS EAST

July 29, 2020 — Mayor LaToya Cantrell today joined other elected officials and community partners to celebrate the beginning of work on a $32 million redevelopment of Lake Forest Manor to bring it back to its original use, as a 200-unit senior living facility in New Orleans East.

The City provided a $1.5 million community development block grant to the developer TKTMJ, Inc., in collaboration with the Housing Authority of New Orleans.

The project is in keeping with several efforts by Mayor Cantrell to fight for affordable housing for the City’s residents, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, the City Council approved Mayor Cantrell’s request for $35 million to be added to the 2020 budget for COVID-19 response and affordable housing in New Orleans. The ordinances appropriate funding from the State and Federal government to the Office of Community Development. They will allow the City to quickly respond to the compounded housing and economic issues related to COVID-19. This will help the City deploy funding for eviction and rental assistance, housing for homeless residents, and support small businesses.

Also, effective July 27, the Office of Community Development began taking applications for tenants residing in Orleans Parish in imminent danger of being evicted.

Mayor Cantrell also thanked a hotel in New Orleans East for stepping up to help house homeless residents downtown who had been compromised by the rodent vector that was identified in the early days of the pandemic as restaurants shuttered. Several of those residents, Mayor Cantrell added, have found permanent housing.

Mayor Cantrell also reaffirmed her commitment to improving District E, including New Orleans East. This includes housing, economic opportunity and infrastructure. Including projects currently under construction, the Department of Public Works has 40 projects valued at $211 million planned for District E. Twelve projects valued at $80 million are currently under construction, while there are 11 completed projects valued at $36 million — since May of 2018. 

Mayor Cantrell was joined by State Rep. Jason Hughes, District 100; Marjorianna Willman, Director, Office of Housing Policy and Community Development, who facilitated the CDBG with HANO; and Michael Tubre and Thomas Tubre Jr., of TKTMJ, Inc.