Project Home Again is a nonprofit housing development organization created by the Leonard and Louise Riggio Foundation shortly after Hurricane Katrina to build high-quality, energy-efficient homes for low and moderate-income New Orleanians. Project Home Again was established in an attempt to restore community, hope, and housing to hard-working families who had lost their homes as a result of Hurricane Katrina and the levee failure that damaged or destroyed 80% of the housing stock in one of America’s oldest and most unique cities. The organization has successfully built hundreds of beautiful, energy-efficient, affordable homes for sale in several Gentilly neighborhoods.
Project Home by Hand is a branch of Project Home Again that will harness the energy, talent, and resources of volunteers, do-it-yourselfers, design-build enthusiasts, and young adults to rebuild under-populated neighborhoods in New Orleans and throughout other cities in America. The intention is to continue to revitalize the Gentilly neighborhoods while simultaneously serving as a model for sweat-equity (urban homesteading) projects throughout the city. In a city that has approximately 40,000 vacant properties and has lost about a third of its population since its peak, Project Home by Hand seeks to provide a path to homeownership for everyone who is willing to work hard to achieve it.
Home by Hand seeks to engage locals and newcomers who earn less than 120% of the area median income and organize them to build their own homes and revitalize blocks and neighborhoods that have experienced decline and population loss. In addition to providing affordable housing, Project Home Again has experience working with families to repair their credit, dissolve bad debts, and prepare to become homeowners, and plans to incorporate these support services into the Project Home by Hand process.
Tulane City Center worked with Carey Shea, Project Home Again’s executive director, to design four houses that will be used as prototypes for Project Home by Hand. The housing prototypes proposed innovative design strategies that break away from the traditional styles of Project Home by Hand’s previous housing models. The homes were designed with consideration for the future homeowners who will build and live in them and for the neighborhood that Project Home by Hand seeks to revitalize.
September 2013-December 2014