New, affordable housing homes are coming to Terrebonne Parish, thanks to a combined seven-figure investment from Synergy Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas.
Last week, project officials gathered together to celebrate the renal homes coming to Houma. In total, 12 homes will be coming to the area, thanks to $1.2 million in Affordable Housing Program grants from the two businesses.
Terrebonne Parish President Gordon Dove said the event marked a great day for Terrebonne Parish, adding that affordable housing should be available to all people in a community.
“People deserve, at a minimum, livable conditions and reliable programs to help break them out of their challenging situations,” Dove said. “This new, low-income housing for Terrebonne Parish will be just what families need to get them on their feet and transition to a better quality of life.”
At the ribbon cutting and home dedication, locals were afforded the chance to preview the model the 12 rental homes will follow.
Each home will be made of brick and will encompass 1,250 square feet of living space. Each home will have energy efficient power and will have wheelchair accessible driveways, hurricane shutters and an attached carport.
St. John the Baptist Parish Councilman at-large Larry Soraparu Jr. said he’s proud of the strides Terrebonne has made to provide greater housing opportunities to all people.
He said Terrebonne is setting an example all other parish governments around the state can follow.
“I am grateful for the contribition that the banks and Options for Independence have provided to the development of low-income housing in this parish,” Soraparu said. “Responding to the need for low-income housing in Terrebonne Parish is part of the ‘solutions first’ attitude that we strive to achieve in our own parish government.”
Options for Independence is the nonprofit that received the grant funds. They will lead the construction of the remaining rental homes. Options for Independence is a social service organization dedicated to providing affordable housing and behavioral health services to various underserved groups, such as people with developmental disabilities, mental illness, substance abuse needs or those who suffer from chronic unemployment or homelessness.
The non-profit has received two, separate AHP grants for the project. One is for $500,000 and will come toward construction of the first five homes. The other is for $750,000 and will go toward the construction of other seven.
Barry Chauvin, the President and CEO of Options for Independence, said the construction of the homes is just a small piece of the puzzle for what the organization aims to continue to do locally.
“The development of these new affordable rental homes is just the beginning of what Options for Independence has in store for low-income and very low-income families in Terrebonne Parish,” Chauvin said. “We have major plans to strengthen our programs and increase education about the steps to home ownership to help enable our families to achieve the American Dream of buying a home.”
In the coming months, Chauvin said Options for Independence will be aggressively working to add to its array of services. They intend to begin offering services on credit repair, first-time homebuyer programs and and rent-to-own programs.
Synergy Bank President and CEO Jerry Ledet Jr., said those programs would be invaluable to the area, adding that Options for Independence is doing great work in the community.
FHLB Dallas awards AHP grants annually through members like Synergy Bank as a way to support the creation or rehabilitation of affordable housing units in an area.
In 2018, FHLB Dallas awarded $14 million in AHP grants to 29 projects that will someday result in 1,853 now or renovated housing units. Of that, $4.7 million was awarded to projects in Louisiana, impacting 319 new or rehabilitated housing units.
“It’s encouraging to see the AHP funds being put to good use,” Ledet said. “Synergy Bank is a strong believer in all families having access to quality, affordable housing. We are grateful that our partnership with FHLB Dallas can provide a significant and lasting impact to families in our community.