Housing and Healthcare Development Debuts on Oretha Castle Haley

NEW ORLEANS — A pair of real estate development companies and their partners hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Jan. 19 for H3C, an $80 million affordable housing and healthcare development in Central City. 

The project includes 192 residential units that are expected to bring activity to a stretch of Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard that has seen millions of dollars in investment since Hurricane Katrina. In addition, it will be home to a community health clinic operated by DePaul Community Health Centers.

Gulf Coast Housing Partnership and Alembic Community Development, the development partners, are hoping to demonstrate how affordable housing and access to healthcare can improve health outcomes for residents.

- Sponsors -

“Through our partnerships with healthcare providers, we have seen first-hand the impact that housing, whether positive or negative, has on someone’s health outcomes,” said GCHP President and CEO Kathy Laborde. “We hope that if we can quantify through our Health + Housing pilots, like H3C, that better housing leads to better health outcomes, healthcare payors will be more inclined to invest in affordable housing.”

At Friday’s event, the developers were joined by leaders of DePaul Community Health Centers, public officials, and representatives from Aetna (owned by CVS), which contributed more than $26 million to the project.

Impetus Construction built the new residential space, which was designed by CCWIV Architecture. Page Architects and Donahue Favret General Contractors, respectively, served as the architect and general contractor for the clinic. 

- Partner Content -

Entergy’s Energy Smart Program Brings Cost Conscious Innovation to New Orleans

Offering comprehensive energy efficiency at no cost to the consumer, Entergy’s Energy Smart program incentivizes Entergy New Orleans customers to perform energy-saving upgrades in...

The 210,000-square-foot development has 192 one-, two- and three-bedroom rental homes constructed to national green building standards. Almost half of the apartments are reserved for people over 55 and are designed to support “aging in place.” 

The DCHC Central City Clinic will provide medical and behavioral health care services and Medicaid enrollment assistance. There also will be an onsite pharmacy.

“Our organization prides itself on being easily accessible to the community. Many of our patients are challenged by social determinants of health, which include issues that supersede their access to health care like a lack of transportation, employment, housing and food insecurities,” said Dr. Michael Griffin, president and CEO of DePaul Community Health Centers. “H3C gives us yet another opportunity to conveniently treat and reach out to patients on a consistent basis to provide them with high-quality, compassionate care, regardless of their ability to pay.”

- Sponsors -

Aetna said it has supported the development of more than 500 affordable and supportive housing units and invested more than $32 million in Louisiana within the past three years.

“Having safe, affordable housing helps improve health outcomes and allows people to address their own mental and physical wellbeing, including managing chronic illnesses or even focus on securing education or steady employment,” said Jess Hall, CEO of Aetna Better Health of Louisiana. “We’re committed to supporting New Orleans’ residents and families by addressing the social and environmental conditions that impact quality of life and increasing access to reliable resources that improve overall wellbeing.”

Funding for H3C was provided by Advantage Capital, AMCREF Community Capital, Belle Reve, Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas, Finance New Orleans, Greater New Orleans Foundation, Home Bank, Housing Authority of New Orleans, Louisiana Housing Corporation, Louisiana Office of Community Development, New Orleans Office of Community Development, R4 Capital Funding, Regional Community Finance and US Bank.

The development fills some of the former site of Brown’s Dairy, which closed its Central City facility in 2016. Other portions of the former dairy have been converted into houses being used for short-term rentals. The H3C developers emphasize that their project will bring local foot traffic to the neighborhood every day.

“The closure of the Brown’s Dairy facility created an important opportunity to bring much-needed affordable housing and healthcare services to Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, a place of deep culture and history along with great access to jobs and public transit,” said Jonathan Leit, director at Alembic. “We are very appreciative of all our local and state public partners and private sector funders for their support and investments, which will serve the Central City community for decades to come.”

GCHP and its partners said they have invested $195 million in affordable housing and complementary community and commercial space on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard since 2006.

And, if you’re wondering about the H3C name. A spokesperson for the project said the “H” stands for health. And the three “Cs” represent “culture, commerce and community,” which are the guiding principles and mission of the Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard Merchants and Business Association.

Digital Sponsors / Become a Sponsor

Follow the issues, companies and people that matter most to business in New Orleans.

Email Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter