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State and Local Officials Gather with Gulf Coast Housing Partnership and Funding Partners to celebrate the ribbon-cutting ceremony for new affordable homes in MidCity Baton Rouge

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Ashley Lusk

March 14, 2024

Baton Rouge—Representatives from Gulf Coast Housing Partnership (GCHP) joined State Insurance Commissioner Tim Temple, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broom, and partners at a ribbon-cutting celebration today for Government Corridor, a scattered-site development comprised of 34 single- and duplex-style apartment homes near Government Street in Baton Rouge.

The recent $8.56 million restoration of the one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartment homes included structural improvements, fully renovated kitchens and bathrooms and the installation of new windows, HVAC systems, and ENERGY STAR appliances.

“I am thrilled to celebrate the completion of the Government Corridor development by Gulf Coast Housing Partnership,” said Mayor- President Sharon Weston Broom. “This transformative project not only enhances the landscape of our MidCity neighborhood but also represents a significant investment in affordable workforce housing. The restoration of 34 homes, supported by a diverse range of funding partners, showcases our commitment to creating thriving, resilient communities. I commend Gulf Coast Housing Partnership for their dedication to providing quality homes and contributing to the continued growth and prosperity of Baton Rouge.”

Seven of the homes required new roofs which GCHP built to be FORTIFIED-rated.  FORTIFIED is a voluntary construction and re-roofing program through the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety designed to strengthen homes and commercial buildings against specific types of severe weather, such as high winds, hail, hurricanes, and even tornados.

In 2021, GCHP developed the first FORTIFIED Multifamily™ development in Louisiana, Les Maisons de Bayou Lafourche located in Lockport. That development withstood the damage and destruction caused by Hurricane Ida, proving to be a successful demonstration of the FORTIFED program.

“The Government Corridor development is an inspiring example of Baton Rouge’s capacity for economic growth, and I appreciate the efforts of those who have worked on and financed this project,” said Tim Temple, State Insurance Commissioner. “I am particularly grateful that the GCHP and its partners made the decision to feature FORTIFIED roofs here. As I’ve said before, increasing the structural resiliency of Louisiana’s homes and businesses is vital to securing Louisiana’s future and the safety of our residents.”

Developer GCHP has long supported preserving and restoring MidCity Baton Rouge. Since 2007, they have developed more than 600 affordable new construction and historical rehab apartment homes in the neighborhood, investing a total of $125.7 million.

“GCHP has been committed to the ongoing transformation of MidCity Baton Rouge since 2007, said Kathy Laborde, GCHP President and CEO. “Through our investment into this neighborhood, we have created jobs and increased the financial investment of others.” “More importantly though, we have done all this without displacing long-time residents, but instead providing them with an opportunity to live in quality, affordable housing.”

To help make the development of Corridor a reality, Hunt Capital Partners facilitated $6.8 million in federal low-income housing tax credits through its multi-investor funds which include Aetna, a CVS Health Company, as an investor.

“We are happy to celebrate the successful revitalization of Government Corridor, which now provides significantly improved living spaces for Louisiana families to call home,” said Amy Dickerson, Hunt Capital Partners Chief Operating Officer. “We are grateful for the opportunity to help transform the Mid-City neighborhood in Baton Rouge. It is great to see this neighborhood benefiting from the collective commitment to create resilient communities that uplift families, and we are proud to partner with Gulf Coast Housing Partnership, Aetna, and other like-minded organizations as we work to address the affordable housing crisis in Louisiana and beyond.”

A long-time investor in affordable housing through public-private partnerships, Aetna, a CVS Health Company, has supported the development of more than 500 affordable and supportive housing units and invested more than $32 million statewide within the past three years.

“An individual’s health includes anything that impacts physical, mental, and social well-being. Although often not obvious, the connection between stable, affordable housing and overall health is the difference between adverse and positive outcomes,” said Jess Hall, CEO Aetna Better Health of Louisiana, a CVS Health company. “Our decades long commitment to increasing access to quality housing means more families, including those in Baton Rouge, can better focus on other needs such as managing chronic illnesses, securing education or steady employment.”

The apartment homes in Government Corridor are affordable workforce housing reserved for those making 60 % or less of the Area Media Income (AMI).

In addition to the funding support provided by Aetna, a CVS Health Company and syndicator, Hunt Capital Partners, the development received CDBG-DR financing from the Louisiana Office of Community Development, predevelopment financing from Essential Credit Union, and a construction loan and permanent debt from United Bank.

The architect for the development was ArchBoutant, and the general contractor was Grant Ethridge Construction.

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