Carey Clouse
Providence Community Housing
New Orleans


“One of my major goals for this fellowship was to build bridges between community groups, neighborhoods, grassroots organizations, universities, students and professionals. So many different people are working on the rebuilding effort in this city, and it only makes sense that they connect to share resources, ideas and support.”

"I spent my fellowship at Providence Community Housing, working to make green building practices a reality for the thousands of new units of affordable housing that this organization is building in New Orleans,” says Carey. “I helped to integrate new sustainable building products into housing developments, shared ideas and resources with contractors and community members, and found creative ways to fund sustainable measures.”

During her fellowship, Carey focused on four main projects. The Edmundite Renovations addressed the conversion of historic shotgun houses into extremely energy-efficient single-family units under an affordable homeownership plan. At the Annunciation Inn, Carey worked with seniors to ensure that they could return to apartments that were not only more energy-efficient and environmentally sensitive, but also featured a large community-designed common landscape plan, replete with a tiny urban farm. Carey also worked on the St. Bakhita apartments, over 100 new townhouse-style affordable housing units that qualified for Green Communities grant funding and certification. In addition to her work with Providence Community Housing, Carey teamed with the Tulane City Center to address issues of architectural salvage, community involvement, and green rebuilding.

These varied tasks called on all of Carey’s talents. “As a Rose Fellow, I enjoyed juggling many different roles each day. My day-to-day work included education, housing design, project management, community outreach and grant writing—the full range of development logistics. I loved being able to participate in these different facets of housing development because it afforded me an opportunity to help link people and ideas.” Carey has applied what she learned during her fellowship to her recent positions in education. Post-fellowship, Carey taught at Yestermorrow Design Build School in rural Vermont and is now an Assistant Professor in Sustainable Urbanism at the University of Massachusetts. She is also co-founder of Crookedworks, an award-winning architecture and design-build firm.

Carey is an architect who earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oregon in 2003, and completed a post-professional degree in architecture at MIT in 2007. She has worked as an architectural designer in the San Francisco Bay Area and has taught architecture and outdoor education at Tulane University, MIT, the National Outdoor Leadership School and the University of Oregon. Her professional credits range from developing community design processes for multifamily housing projects to developing systems for resilience and adaptation in the face of climate change.

cclouse-city-center.jpgCity Center Collaboration

Residential Unit Profile:
In addition to her work at Providence Community Housing, Carey has teamed with the Tulane City Center to address issues of architectural salvage, community involvement, and green (re)building. One exhibit piece produced by the partnership highlighted the amount of building waste generated by Hurricane Katrina, and called for an innovative, city-wide, architectural salvage program.

The intent of the exhibition was to show that a comprehensive building material recycling program could divert waste from overwhelmed landfills, while providing the rebuilding effort with a plentiful source of high quality building materials.

To test this theory, Carey’s team investigated the real-world logistics of incorporating salvaged materials for architectural reuse. They targeted one typical trash pile along a street in a flooded mid-city neighborhood. Initially, they picked apart the heap of debris to determine the amount and type of refuse generated by a typical gutted house. Then they looked at what they could construct with the materials from one single trash heap—and the process of rebuilding by diverting this waste from the landfill.

The contents of this pile included one set of drawers, two crutches, two sets of suspenders, one ball of twine, one bag of rusted nails and screws, one ball of fishing line, 500 linear feet of tongue and groove pine flooring, one box of glassware, two mirrors, several lamps, one fluorescent light, one singing, big mouth bass trophy, eight strands of Mardi Gras beads, 36 hangers, one pair of lace curtains, one ceramic paperweight, three chairs, one bicycle, one bag, 150 feet of miscellaneous wood scraps, two solid wood doors, and two brooms.

After cataloging these resources, the team developed a design for a table that would illustrate the new potential embedded within old woodwork, then built the display entirely out of the materials found in the trash pile.

Completed 2008

cclouse-mary-queen-vietnam.jpgMary Queen of Vietnam

Residential Unit Profile:
Located in the Vietnamese community of New Orleans East, Mary Queen of Vietnam Retirement Community will house 84 one-bedroom apartments and associated support services for seniors. Father Cha Vien, Pastor of Mary Queen of Vietnam Church and chairman of MQVN CDC, who held community meetings to engage residents, conceived this affordable senior housing development.

This building is expected to be the first phase of a larger mixed-use development occupying 28 contiguous acres, which will connect to a well-established Vietnamese Commercial District. The building’s design is influenced by traditional Vietnamese architecture and will occupy approximately 3.5 acres on the site. As development of the overall site continues to evolve, all phases will be linked by a sustainable building plan and over-arching Green Communities compliance.

Common area amenities will include laundry rooms and seating areas on each floor, a medical exam room and a dining room that has been sized to seat all of the residents of the building. This large space will be utilized for a variety of activities including meals, exercise classes, games, meetings and celebrations. In addition to these interior spaces, Carey has worked to extend the building out into the environment, through integrated landscaping and walking paths.

Completed 2008

cclouse-st-martin-manor.jpgSt. Martin Manor

Residential Unit Profile: 
St. Martin Manor is a development with both historic rehabilitation and new construction in the 7th ward. This project will house 140 independent seniors, with a variety of efficiency and one-bedroom apartments and associated support services. Common area amenities include laundry rooms and seating areas, program offices, a small kitchen and dining area, and an auditorium. In addition to these interior spaces, the grounds serve to connect nine different buildings through landscaping and walking paths, providing opportunities for seniors to engage with the outdoor environment.

St Martin Manor is located in the 7th Ward--- downtown New Orleans-- and was closed after experiencing considerable flood damage due to Hurricane Katrina. The project includes a complex of nine buildings, including a central chapel, numerous outbuildings and even a morgue. The complex is the oldest senior living facility in the country, having been established by Les Dames de Providence in 1842. All of the older, three-story brick buildings will be rehabilitated according to state historic standards, while the newest five-story structure on the site will be demolished and rebuilt.

St. Martin Manor expects to achieve Green Communities certification, through the rehabilitation of several historic buildings and the smart integration of sustainable principles. The project involves brick wall repairs, new slate roofing, refinished hardwood floors, re-skimmed plaster interior walls, and retention of original windows and molding. Newer elements for both the renovation and the new construction include low or no VOC paints, adhesives, and sealants, highly efficient HVAC systems, ENERGYSTAR lighting, ventilation, and appliance packages, formaldehyde-free cabinets, tile flooring in wet areas, and integrated insulation. Because several buildings date back to 1842, these buildings were constructed for passive heating and cooling. In many ways, these original building constraints have set the stage for a sustainable retrofit as well. 

cclouse-lafitte.jpgLafitte Redevelopment

Residential Unit Profile:
The Lafitte Redevelopment consists of 1,500 new housing units in the central urban core of New Orleans. In an effort to replace and improve the housing stock that was badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and also to support the return of previous residents to affordable housing, Providence Community Housing has committed to the one-for-one replacement of subsidized units in this area. By 2012, 900 subsidized apartments will be built, as well as 600 homes for working families and first-time homeowners.

The sheer magnitude of this affordable housing development allows for efficiencies in construction techniques and resources. More importantly, it also offers an opportunity to achieve considerable advances in sustainable building outcomes. Every unit in this new development will strive for Green Communities compliance, which includes ENERGY STAR rated appliances, lighting packages, envelope and energy efficiency. Rather than working green strategies into units on a case-by-case basis, Carey strives to leverage the impact of this green building initiative by setting a standard for every unit. In doing so, Providence Community Housing has emerged as a leader in the local rebuilding effort; indeed raising the bar for green affordable housing in the City of New Orleans. 


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