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Louisiana News

Building Houses On America Street

Building Houses On America StreetAs part of a Hurricane Katrina 10th anniversary initiative, Habitat for Humanity is putting up 10 new homes in New Orleans East. A few hundred volunteers are spending the next 10 days along America Street, putting up new single-family homes in lots that have sat vacant since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita flooded this neighborhood. 

NewOrleans native DanCahoonhelped build some Habitat homes back in 2008 around America Street. He says it’s a mixed feeling to see the neighborhood still marked with blight. “I’mkindadisturbed by how little’s been done, that hasn’t been done by our affiliate out here.”

Many parts of New Orleans East have seen as much as a 30 percent increase in population over the past five years. People are moving back and relocating to this part of the city. But America Street, where the new houses are going up, is still dotted by blighted properties and abandoned lots.

23-year-old Clarence Holmes grew up on America Street. He sits under the awning of a blighted home for shade. The boarded-up structure is where his grandmother, now deceased, lived. Holmes watches volunteers hauling wood to build a new house across the street, and remembers what the same scene looked like 10 years ago.“Dirt and mud over the concrete.Beaucoup dirt and mud over everything, water lines on all the houses. When I got back here it was a scary site." 

Holmes says 10 years ago he saw a city that needed help. He says he’s happy to see people still interested in answering that call.

Getting ready to build houses in New Orleans East
Jesse Hardman /
Getting ready to build houses in New Orleans East
Hundreds of volunteers came from all over the country to build
Jesse Hardman /
Hundreds of volunteers came from all over the country to build
Hundreds of volunteers came from all over the country to build
/
Hundreds of volunteers came from all over the country to build
Volunteers are helping turn 10 vacant properties into homes along America Street
Jesse Hardman /
Volunteers are helping turn 10 vacant properties into homes along America Street
The Daughters of the Revolution presented flags for each home being built
Jesse Hardman /
The Daughters of the Revolution presented flags for each home being built
Clarence Holmes grew up on America Street and still uses his Grandmother's old porch for shade
Jesse Hardman /
Clarence Holmes grew up on America Street and still uses his Grandmother's old porch for shade
10 houses will be built on America Street in the next 10 days
Jesse Hardman /
10 houses will be built on America Street in the next 10 days

Copyright 2015 WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

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