LHC Announces Completion of Storm Resilient Housing Community Les Maisons de Bayou Lafourche in Lockport, LA

July 11, 2022

LOCKPORT, LA – The Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) today announced the completion of the 35-unit storm-resilient affordable housing community, Les Maisons de Bayou, located in Lockport, Louisiana. LHC Executive Director Joshua G. Hollins joined Louisiana Office of Community Development (OCD) Executive Director Pat Forbes, Lockport Mayor Paul Champagne, and developer Gulf Coast Housing Partnership to cut the ribbon on the $11 million development.

Les Maisons de Bayou Lafourche is the result of Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptations for the Future Environments (LA SAFE), an innovative planning effort launched by Governor John Bel Edwards in March 2017 to create strategies and projects in anticipation of coastal land loss and increasing flood risk.

In 2018, a partnership comprised of OCD, the Foundation for Louisiana, and the LA SAFE team conducted a nine-month inclusive public process focused on six parishes heavily impacted in 2012 by Hurricane Isaac: Jefferson, Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, and Terrebonne. Through community meetings held in each parish, residents prioritized their list of critical projects.

In Lafourche Parish, residents cited the need for affordable housing in the northern part of the parish, where future flood risk is projected to remain low.

Les Maisons de Bayou Lafourche incorporates resilient construction and design features that set it apart from other multi-family developments in the area. Elevated concrete foundations; engineered framing with metal hurricane anchors and bolts; impact-rated doors and windows; and standing seam metal roofs are disaster-tested measures that mitigate the risk of property damage.

“Les Maisons de Bayou Lafourche homes incorporate high durability, performance, and efficiency features, allowing residents to weather extreme storm-related events in place,” said LHC Executive Director Joshua G. Hollins. “As we begin another hurricane season, I could not be more proud to announce the completion of Les Maisons de Bayou, the first government-funded housing project in Louisiana to incorporate this level of resiliency features.”

LHC worked with OCD to select a developer for the project and in 2019 New Orleans-based real estate developer Gulf Coast Housing Partnership (GCHP) was competitively awarded $7 million in Community Development Block Grant-National Disaster Resilience (CDBG-NDR) funds for the project.

“Les Maisons de Bayou Lafourche showcases the perfect blend of affordable housing and resilient construction critically needed in south Louisiana,” OCD Executive Director Pat Forbes said. “This development leverages state and federal funding with private investment to create a highly successful public-private partnership. Lafourche Parish is frequently threatened by increasingly intense storms, most recently hurricanes Delta, Zeta and Ida. Using National Disaster Resilience funds to build this community will help Lockport secure a future for its residents that is safer, stronger and smarter.”

The 16 duplex and triplex style one-, two-, and three-bedroom units are built to meet the FORTIFIED Commercial Standard Gold Designation – a certification designed to minimize damage from a Category 3 Hurricane. This includes a highly engineered roof system and a continuous load path which ties the structure of the house together and redistributes extreme wind to the foundation of the building. Les Maisons de Bayou Lafourche received the first FORTIFIED Multifamily™ designation ever issued by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS).

Construction began on Les Maisons de Bayou Lafourche in August 2020 and the development was 90% complete when Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on August 29, 2021. The storm was the first test for the resilient housing community.

“When you look at the devastation Hurricane Ida caused to homes and businesses surrounding Les Maisons de Bayou Lafourche compared to the minimal damage at our property, you can see that the resilient construction and design elements worked,” said Kathy Laborde, GCHP president and CEO. “This community now serves as a model for GCHP and other developers for how we can build housing that adapts to our changing environment.”

Although flooding was not an issue at the property for Hurricane Ida, the development mitigates the potential for water damage with a landscape designed to capture water from a 25-year flood event. The buildings are also elevated three feet above future Base Flood Elevation. If there is water intrusion, paperless drywall, tile floors, and elevated mechanical equipment make it easier and more cost-effective to recover from a flood. These measures are intended to enable residents to get back into their homes as quickly as possible following a severe weather event.

Twenty-Eight of the 35 units at Les Maisons de Bayou Lafourche are designated for families at 50% to 60% of Area Median Income, six units are leased at market-rate, and there is one on-site manager’s unit. Five units are designed for people with mobility impairments and three units are equipped for residents with sensory impairments. The development also includes residency preferences for veterans, individuals with disabilities, and seniors.

The buildings’ energy-efficient design will deliver direct benefits to future residents. For example, a two-bedroom unit is 53% more energy-efficient than a standard new construction home and will deliver an annual average savings of approximately $250 per household.

Financing for Les Maisons de Bayou Lafourche was provided by the Louisiana Office of Community Development, Louisiana Housing Corporation, R4 Capital, Sterling Bank, Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust, Federal Home Bank of Atlanta, Regions Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas, and Home Bank.

The project team includes VergesRome Architects; landscape architecture firm Dana Brown and Associates; Level Construction & Development; Grant Ethridge Construction; and energy rating consultant Energy Efficiency NOW.

The purpose of the LHC is to substantially increase the availability of affordable, accessible, and safe residential housing in Louisiana. The LHC was created in 2011 when the Louisiana Legislature merged the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency with housing programs from other state agencies to streamline how the state would address its housing needs, avoid duplication of efforts, and improve service to the general public. The LHC administers federal and state funds through programs designed to advance the development of energy-efficient and affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families, drives housing policy for Louisiana, and oversees the state’s Disaster Housing Task Force.



Subscribe for the Latest