Terri B. North

Terri B. North

President and CEO
Providence Community Housing

Providence Community Housing is a nonprofit real estate development organization focused on transforming lives and communities through the development and preservation of affordable homes. A member of NeighborWorks America, Providence has developed more than 1,500 units of housing and helped more than 600 individuals and families become homeowners throughout the Greater New Orleans Area. Notable properties include: Sacred Heart at St. Bernard (with Columbia Residential); Bell Artspace Campus (with Artspace); Faubourg Lafitte (with Enterprise Community Partners); St. Bakhita Apartments in Marrero; and numerous senior affordable housing properties in conjunction with the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

What are you most excited for in the coming year? In New Orleans, 45% of Louisiana renters are rent-burdened (pay more than 50% of their income on rent), the fifth-highest rate in the country. Only 38 units of affordable housing are available for every 100 individuals in need. Producing more than 30,000 affordable homes is critical to the well-being of New Orleans. 2020 will be the year to set the foundation for growth and equity in our community. Having this issue in the forefront allows Providence the opportunity to find partners in the fields of health, finance and government to create a larger impact in improving quality of life for EVERYONE in our community.

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What would you say is the biggest challenge you’re seeing? In developing and preserving affordable homes, the greatest challenge is two-fold: insufficient resources and rising costs. As the public resources supplied to recover from hurricanes Katrina and Rita have been depleted, there is far less funding available to continue building new affordable units. At the same time, the cost of labor and materials has continued to rise. Therefore, finding innovations that can produce that same level of quality but are more cost efficient is a major goal for us and finding partners to offset the loss of public funding is vital.


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