New Orleans Katrina Survivors Get First
Large-Scale Home Ownership Initiative
Program Serves As National Model
New Orleans, La. (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts in New Orleans took a
giant leap forward with the recent announcement of “New Era,” the largest workforce housing
initiative for victims of Hurricane Katrina. New Era consists of more than 315 one, two and three
bedroom homes priced between $72,000 and &108,000.
The initiative, including hard-to-obtain financing for working families, is led by CityView Executive
Chairman and former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry G. Cisneros, New
Orleans real estate developer Stewart Juneau, CEO of leTriomphe Property Group, LLC, and Michael
Wojciechowski, head of California-based Our Castle Homes, LLC. Homeowner financing for the New
Era project is provided by the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA).
The project’s development group includes leTriomphe; Cisneros’ California-based real estate
investment firm CityView; Our Castle Homes, a for-profit developer of affordable housing; and
American Sunrise Communities, a non-profit from San Antonio also founded by Cisneros works with
first-time home buyers.
“This is a new era for families of New Orleans who want to come back home and work and restore
themselves to home ownership, or move up to home ownership,” said CityView's Cisneros. “This is
the ideal way to build an American middle class, and provide a way to achieve the American dream
for working families in this area.”
Stewart Juneau, CEO of leTriomphe, who redeveloped the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in downtown New
Orleans, is the owner of the 320-unit The Gates on Manhattan, a former apartment complex that has
been converted into homes for working families. “We first offered these units for sale in May of last
year and then were hit with the housing finance crisis просрочка погашения по кредиту,” he said, “We have spent almost a year trying
to convince banks and other lenders to provide loans to people in our area with less-than-perfect
The NACA solution allows home buyers who don’t have ideal credit but do have a stable source of
income to lease their home for up to 18 months while they repair any credit issues, and then convert
the lease into a no down payment, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at one percentage point below prime
rate. American Sunrise Homes will also offer credit counseling to residents of The Gates on
While the New Era homeowners will have 18 months to work with NACA to correct their credit
problems, but agency representatives expect that most households will acquire mortgages in less time.
New Era participants’ lease payments will include a reserve fund that they will own to help with their
future home ownership expenses such as repairs on their new homes and ‘rainy-day funds’.
Our Castle Homes’ Michael Wojciechowski said "We are looking for other opportunities not only to
assist in the rebuilding of this great American city, but also to help families find workforce housing
around the country. We welcome other developers to join with us in these public/private partnerships
that bring all of our resources to bear on the nation’s housing crisis.”
Carl Brown, one of the first residents of The Gates on Manhattan participating in New Era
commented that the program gives him a chance to own his first home in an environment where he
didn’t believe that was possible.
“I know that banks aren’t anxious to help people like me who had problems making a few payments
on time after the hurricane,” said Brown while settling into his new three-bedroom home with his
daughter and granddaughter. “Because I’ll be paying $830 a month instead of $1200 a month to rent
somewhere, I'll be saving almost $4500 a year and building equity for myself and my family.”
Information on participating in New Era, the Gates Home Ownership Program is available online at
www.thegatesonmanhattan.com. Applicants can also call 504-362-9794 to get more information. The
NACA website is www.naca.com.
"It's about more than just a hurricane"