A Letter From Executive Director Jim Pate

Dear Friends,

We build through partnership.

Every NOAHH home is built in partnership with families earning sweat equity, with volunteers taking time out of their lives to give back, with donors helping to fund our affiliate’s programs, and with community partners supporting our mission. As we build together, communities grow not just from the homes built but also from those building them. Through these partnerships—with you and thousands of others—we continue to find ways to expand your impact in New Orleans.

To expand your impact, we seek out new ways to meet the need for affordable housing. In a rental market where 39% of tenants pay more than half of their income for housing, there is an urgent need for better housing opportunities. Imagine paying $1,200 a month for a modest 3-bedroom home on top of childcare, utility bills, medical needs, and food—in a city where families earn less than $30,000 a year working jobs in food service, hospitality, transportation, or security. Through partnership, NOAHH has begun to include affordable rentals in our programs. Over the last decade, NOAHH has built rentals in partnership with elder musicians in Musicians’ Village, with Covenant House and CASA for our transitional housing rentals, and with future homeowners through our incubator program.

NOAHH has begun a new partnership with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority to build both rentals and single-family homes in the Lower Ninth Ward that have already begun bringing residents back to the neighborhood where they grew up. Through these partnerships, we make it possible for more hard-working New Orleanians to find the stability needed to change their lives through financial independence and homeownership.

Our most important partnership, however, is with you. The support of thousands of donors and volunteers every year is critical to our building efforts and to keeping our homes affordable. In 2017, your partnership helped NOAHH complete 30 new homes, including eight rental doubles. We celebrated the completion of our 600th new home. We repaired 33 homes through our A Brush With Kindness program, empowering long-time residents to remain in their homes as stakeholders in the community, and we helped clear blight and overgrowth in the Lower Ninth Ward with an Attack the Block event. We hosted our first Women Build, where over 300 women came together to build a home for and with Monica Grandpre, a local single mother, in just 12 days. In October, Unity Build brought together 11 congregations of all faiths to build a house in one month for and with Nicole Pujol. NOAHH also started new volunteer partnerships with local job training centers and non-traditional schools, and in total, we hosted nearly 9,000 volunteers, including 2,700 students on their spring breaks and nearly 6,000 volunteers from around Louisiana.

NOAHH has started construction on our second ReStore, which will connect us to new partnerships in the Kenner area, helping with partner family outreach, new sponsorship opportunities, and expanded volunteer opportunities. Every partnership we have built in the past year—and throughout our history—is possible as a result of your commitment to our mission of affordable housing.

Your support touches thousands of lives every year, and in 2018, your support will double last year’s efforts and build two homes at our second Women Build, expand our presence with the grand opening of our second ReStore, and continue building and repairing homes around New Orleans, from New Orleans East to Hollygrove, from Central City to the Lower Ninth Ward. NOAHH’s work is only as strong as the partnerships that make it possible; our effectiveness is a result of your support and commitment. NOAHH is thankful for every partnership, and we look forward to another year of partnership with you.

Thank you,

Jim Pate
Executive Director
New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity

Jim Pate, Arne Sorenson (CEO of Marriott International), NOAHH homeowner Shanell Davis and family, and Drew Brees on site for the Marriott Spirit to Serve day of service.

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