Summer Update 2019

Your support of New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity has led to the construction of much-needed affordable housing in the city of New Orleans. Already in 2019, you have helped build nine Habitat homes, and construction is underway on 10 additional houses that will be finished by the fall. Most of these homes are in the Lower Ninth Ward and New Orleans East.


Rebuilding the Lower Ninth Ward is important to Habitat not only because the neighborhood was beloved by its residents before Hurricane Katrina, but because it was home to many of the city’s culture bearers, artists, and working families as well. We have committed to preserving the pre-Katrina ratio of homeowners to renters in the Lower Ninth Ward by building 60 units dedicated to homeowners and 40 units dedicated to renters. Since we began working there in 2016, we have built 20 homes in the Lower Ninth Ward. Now that she has closed on her house, Habitat homeowner Michelle White is able to work from home. At her new residence in the Lower Ninth Ward, Michelle and her two children have a safe, affordable place to live and grow. Michelle’s home was built during New Orleans Habitat’s annual Women Build. This year, over 400 professional women volunteered to help Michelle build her future home.


So far in 2019, we have built two homes in New Orleans East, part of a larger effort that has yielded 75 new homes in that community since Hurricane Katrina. Over the past couple years, we have concentrated our NOE efforts on Pines Village, a neighborhood that now features 13 Habitat homes on land donated to us by the Lupo family. All of these homes were purchased by New Orleans Habitat Partner Families, including Ernest, Tyrone, Michelle, Leonard, Vicki and Rashad, our most recent homebuyers. (You may recall our feature in last year’s Impact Report about Ernest Williams and his two sisters, all of whom are Habitat home owners.)

Michelle White works on the roof of her future home during Women Build in May 2019. She completed 350 sweat equity hours as part of the home buying process.

“I moved to New Orleans in 1999 with no family,” said White. “Throughout all these years I’ve come to find that family are those that want you to succeed. My family has grown in the past year being with Habitat and even more during the month of May because I met a lot of amazing women encouraging me.”
– Michelle White, NOAHH Homeowner

Ernest Williams and his sisters, Shanell and Shantel, take a picture together on the site of Ernest’s future home.


Over 3,700 volunteers have partnered with New Orleans Habitat this year, often working side-by-side with Partner Families who will go on to purchase their homes. During Spring Break 2019, New Orleans Habitat welcomed over 1,000 students from around the country who visited to build homes. We hosted students from schools such as George Washington University, Western University and Rocky Hills High School.

Spring Break volunteers hard at work adding siding to a Habitat home.

We are grateful for your continued partnership with New Orleans Habitat. Through your support as a donor and as a volunteer, we are able to open doors for hard-working New Orleans families that lead to generations of change. It would be our pleasure to offer you a personal tour of our active projects. If you are interested in a tour or would like to provide feedback about our work, please reach out to me at or Jim Dempsey at