SCHRIEVER — On Thursday, June 29th, 2023, the Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) celebrated the groundbreaking for new homes to be built at The New Isle, located in Terrebonne Parish. For over 170 years, Isle de Jean Charles has been a historical tribal homeland and burial ground. In 2016, the State of Louisiana was awarded $48.3 million in Community Development Block Grant- National Disaster Resilience funds, from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to fund the tribe’s resettlement to higher and safer ground.
Due to years of hurricane damage, coastal erosion and rising sea levels, Isle de Jean Charles, which once encompassed more than 22,000 acres, is now only 320 acres. The Louisiana Land Trust, on behalf of the Louisiana Office of Community Development (OCD), purchased 515 acres of rural land, nearly 40 miles north of Isle de Jean Charles, in Terrebonne Parish to serve as the site for the Resettlement community in Schriever, LA.
“Today we are thrilled to launch a second phase of development at The New Isle for former residents of Isle de Jean Charles displaced before Hurricane Isaac,” said OCD Executive Director Pat Forbes. “Now these families will be able to purchase a new home on a free lot and rejoin their former community of friends and family already living at The New Isle. Coastal land loss devastated Isle de Jean Charles and the community that called it home for generations. We are humbled to have a chance to work with LHC and Jericho Road to help start the process of bringing that community back together.”
The Isle de Jean Charles Resettlement is a federally funded, first-of-its kind efforts that offers resettlement options to current and former residents of Isle de Jean Charles. While participation is voluntary, the Resettlement offers stronger and less flood-prone homes for the community that reflects and preserves its unique culture, diversity and history.
Under Phase II of The New Isle development, also called “Option B,” LHC worked with Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative, a neighborhood-based nonprofit homebuilder, and made an award of $5 million of HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funds to construct 19 single family homes in The New Isle neighborhood located on Bayou Blue Bypass Road. A construction line of credit from Enterprise Community Partners of $1 million and proceeds from the sale of the 19 homes will be utilized to build eight additional homes for a total of 27 new single family homes for homeownership.
“One of our goals at LHC is to expand the opportunities of affordable and attainable housing across Louisiana,” said LHC Executive Director Joshua Hollins. “In order to do this, we have to collaborate, which is why LHC works with community-based service organizations. It allows us to get the job done and be more inclusive.”
Once complete, The New Isle will have a community center, marketplace and other amenities.
The Louisiana Office of Community Development worked alongside the Louisiana Land Trust, CSRS, and Pan American Engineers on the project.