Delille Inn Senior Housing Community to Undergo $7.1M Renovations to Recover from Hurricane Katrina Damage

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorNew Orleans–Sisters of the Holy Family, along with Providence Community Housing, Christopher Homes and Enterprise, recently broke ground at the Delille Inn Apartments, a 51-unit senior housing community slated to undergo $7.1 million in renovations.’it took a long time for everything to fall into place and meanwhile people were either living in other senior housing homes or with family,” Andreanecia M. Morris, program manager for Providence Community Housing, tells MHN.Located at 6924 Chef Menteur Highway, Delille Inn was damaged in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina and the floods that followed. New Orleans City Councilmember Cynthia Willard-Lewis, state and city officials, neighbors and former residents joined Project partners to kick off the rehabilitation effort. Delille is the fourth of seven senior properties totaling 785 units to be redeveloped by Providence with Gulf Opportunity (GO) Zone Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity financing provided by Enterprise. Delille is slated to open in early 2009.In 1849, Henrietta Delille, a free woman of color, invited old slaves, men and women alike, to come to a place where they were cared for and nurtured by the hands and hearts of Henrietta Delille and her companions. “The rebuilding of Delille Inn is a testimony to the legacy of Henrietta Delille and her passion to care for the elders, the same passion which continues to live on today in the Sisters of the Holy Family,” says Sister Eva Regina Marin.Delille Inn was built in 1987 by the Sisters of the Holy Family, the oldest female-led African-American organization in the United States. Providence Community Housing will rehabilitate the building. Christopher Homes will provide property management and supportive services including meals, shuttle transportation, health resources and other social services.Delille Inn will offer 38 one-bedroom apartments and 13 studio apartments for local seniors. The five-story apartment building, equipped with elevators, will feature lounge areas on each floor, a community room, a commercial kitchen, dining area, secure access and emergency pull cords in each apartment that connect to the front desk and emergency services.    “Enterprise is committed to rebuilding New Orleans and the Gulf Coast by providing equity and financing to bring affordable housing, families and seniors back to New Orleans,” says Charles R. Werhane, vice chairman and CEO of Enterprise Community Investment Inc. Financing for Delille Inn includes $4.7 million in GO Zone LIHTC equity from Enterprise, a $2.4 million construction loan from JPMorgan Chase Bank and a $2 million federally insured permanent mortgage from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through Sims Mortgage Funding.