Displaced Familes Return Home

Displaced Familes Return Home NEW ORLEANS, LA - While New Orleans was welcoming home the Super Bowl Champions, Harmony Oaks, a new community developed in partnership with the Housing Authority of New Orleans to replace the hurricane-damaged C.J. Peete public housing development, welcomed home the first of its former residents this weekend. Harmony Oaks is the first of the "Big Four" public housing complexes in New Orleans that were demolished in 2008 to have residents move back to their old neighborhood.

"I am thrilled to be home again," said Triege Kerry Cotton, who was raised in C.J. Peete. "But it's not just about moving back, it's about moving up. That's what Harmony Oaks is about for me and my family." Cotton, a teacher and single mother of two boys, received the keys to her new market-rate unit yesterday.

C.J. Peete was once one of the largest federally funded public housing developments in New Orleans. Reborn as Harmony Oaks, the community will eventually include 460 attractive, privately managed housing units that will serve lower-income people as well as attract residents who are able to pay market-rate rent or afford moderately priced houses. The cornerstone of the new community will be a centrally located Campus of Learners comprised of a new state-of-the-art K-4 school operated by KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program), recreation center and a health suite.

"This mixed-income model has proven successful in cities nationwide. We've seen residents live well, vulnerable people become self-sufficient and improve their social and economic standing, and surrounding neighborhoods prosper. Better communities make for better lives," said Richard Baron, chairman and chief executive officer of McCormack Baron Salazar.

Central City Partners, the joint-venture developer of Harmony Oaks, brings together organizations that provide national and local expertise in the comprehensive redevelopment of urban neighborhoods. The partners are:

McCormack Baron Salazar, a for-profit developer of economically integrated urban neighborhoods.

KAI Design Build Inc., a design and construction company serving private and public entities nationwide.

The New Orleans Neighborhood Development Collaborative, a nonprofit community organizing, community planning and development organization focused on revitalizing the Central City neighborhood.

Urban Strategies Inc. works with Central City Partners and the Housing Authority of New Orleans to provide community and supportive services to the former residents of C.J. Peete.
Source: Urban Strategies

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