Our priority was to focus our efforts in communities that were hardest hit, in support of rebuilding housing for the lowest-income residents who often faced the most difficult challenges in returning home. At the time, we had barely scratched the surface in understanding the extent of the damage or the complexity of the challenges to come – including a national recession and a catastrophic oil spill.


A decade ago, Enterprise made a commitment to help rebuild homes and communities in the wake of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation

Ten years later, together with our partners, we have helped create nearly 9,000 affordable homes for families across the Gulf Coast region.



Impact of Hurricane Katrina


While others saw risk, Enterprise found opportunity to make a lasting difference.

Beyond the toll on homes, businesses and public infrastructure, Hurricane Katrina exposed deeply entrenched poverty and the substandard living conditions of low-income families across the Gulf Coast region. The disaster created an unprecedented affordable housing crisis. And tremendous opportunity.



Restoring Opportunity Across the Gulf Coast

Enterprise's commitment to disaster-struck communities


Through generous contributions from corporations, foundations and individuals, Enterprise brought its years of experience in affordable housing policy and finance to address the unprecedented disaster. Through these partnerships, Enterprise pledged to invest $200 million in loans, grants and tax credits toward the development of 10,000 affordable, safe and sustainable homes. 

As part of these commitments, we also endeavored to:

  • Design solutions that address structural impediments in the rebuilding process
  • Maximize scarce public-sector affordable housing resources
  • Strengthen the technical capacity and sustainability of the community development industry
  • Share lessons learned to implement disaster recovery solutions in other parts of the country




Highlights of Enterprise’s Work


  • Achieved congressional action to extend GO Zone placed in service deadline making thousands of additional affordable homes possible, bolstered by editorials in the Washington Post and New York Times.
  • Supported start-up and ongoing leadership in new industry trade associations: New organizations help the industry better advocate policy and program priorities, offer professional development and raise the profile of affordable housing.
  • Incorporated green building standards into city and state housing programs making the Enterprise Green Communities the standard for the Louisiana's Qualified Allocation Plan for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority's Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP2). Enterprise has provided training to increase the number of qualified green contractors, developers and consultants in the region.
  • Improved outcomes for the New Orleans Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) and New Orleans Redevelopment Authority NSP2 program: Providing technical assistance to developers and helping attract private investment to HOME- and NSP-funded projects to increase the number and quality of homes built through the programs.
  • Brought disaster recovery lessons learned to support recovery following disasters in other parts of the country, including Houston; Colorado; New York; and New Jersey.


  • Invested over $306 million in grants, loans and equity towards the production or preservation of nearly 9,000 affordable homes in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
  • Created the Louisiana Loan Fund, which made it possible for single-family home developers to access construction financing; introduced nonprofits to construction lenders; resulted in vacant and blighted properties being redeveloped and new homeownership opportunities for moderate-income households.
  • Brought new private investors to the market. Lined up opportunities for investment, addressed potential risks and obstacles and restructured deals to be more attractive to investors.
  • Refinancing Archdiocese of New Orleans senior housing portfolio, resulting in several thousand permanently affordable, renovated or newly-built apartments for seniors.


  • Made significant headway towards redeveloping the Lafitte public housing complex. Replacing all subsidized units, providing high-quality services, achieving high resident return rate, achieving Enterprise Green Communities Certification, applying for LEED Neighborhood Development certification, receiving several national awards. A total of 584 homes have been completed to date.
  • Leading HUD's homelessness working group . Milestones include ending veteran homelessness in December 2014 and significant reduction in chronic homelessness in New Orleans.
  • Piloted the use of cottages  built through FEMA's alternative housing pilot program – as permanent affordable and workforce housing in Ocean Springs, Miss., and expanded to Greenwood, Miss., where an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow is helping extremely low-income families become homeowners.

Our Commitment Continues

Ten years after the storm, thousands of homes, businesses and community facilities have been rebuilt, and the region’s economy is strong.

The system to support long-term community development is vastly improved and far better prepared to address current needs and respond to future disasters. Despite the market’s uncertainty and risk in the storm’s aftermath, many local, regional and national financial institutions stepped up to invest in new housing and community facilities that have exceeded expectations.

With all this progress, however, the region continues to face considerable challenges. New Orleans ranks among the top cities in the nation struggling with housing insecurity. Fewer than 100 affordable homes exist per 400 low-income households. As with many other parts of the country, the cost of housing in the Gulf Coast has increased considerably, while wages have remained relatively flat. This dynamic has forced families to make difficult tradeoffs between housing and other essentials such as food, education, health care and transportation. Enterprise is in the Gulf Coast to stay – our commitment to recovery continues. Our priorities in the coming years include: 

  • Support the long-term financial sustainability of nonprofit housing developers and service providers
  • Work with partners to end to chronic homelessness in New Orleans.
  • Advocate for state and local policies that remove barriers to investment in and development of new affordable housing
  • Continue to bring new sources of private-sector capital to the region
  • Identify new solutions for vacant and blighted properties
  • Advocate for crucial federal housing and community development tools and programs and effective city and state affordable housing programs
  • Complete our commitment with Providence Community Housing to replace all subsidized apartments at Faubourg Lafitte 

To our funders, investors and other partners, thank you for supporting Enterprise’s work to end housing insecurity in the Gulf Coast and across the United States. Your support and partnership have made all the difference over the past 10 years. Nonprofit organizations are stronger, state and local affordable housing programs are more effective and private-sector investment has paid off.

Well beyond the 10th anniversary of Katrina, let us continue the philanthropy, private investment and federal housing and community development programs that remain vital to the region’s continued recovery.

Our work is not yet complete – together, we’ll help families continue to rebuild their lives. 


 Examples of Our Work in the Gulf Coast

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AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corporation  •  AIG Global Real Estate Investment Corporation  •  American Express  •  Bank of America, N.A.  •  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation  •  blue moon fund, inc.  •  Brenda L. Patten & Associates, P.A. II  •  Butler Family Fund  •  Canon Solutions America  •  Capital One  •  Cherokee Investment Partners, LLC  •  Cho Benn Holback + Associates, Inc.  •  Crown Family Philanthropies  •  Fannie Mae  •  Freddie Mac  •  Global Citizenship Club  •  Goldman Sachs  •  Greater New Orleans Foundation  •  IberiaBank  •  James Family Foundation  •  JRS Dryfoos Charitable Lead Trust  •  Lambrix/Bush Warehousing, Inc.  •  Main Street Holdings, LLC  •  McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc.  •  MCJ Foundation  •  MetLife Foundation  •  Michael Saunders & Company  •  Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Foundation  •  Morgan Stanley   •  Municipal Employees Credit Union of Baltimore, Inc.  •  MyUS.com  •  ONS, Inc.  •  Parsons Family Foundation  •  Peck Family Foundation  •  Rebuild The Coast Fund, Inc.  •  Richard & Rosalee C. Davison Foundation, Inc.  •  State of Louisiana, Office of Community Development   •  The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region  •  The Home Depot Foundation  •  The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc.  •  The JPMorgan Chase Foundation  •  The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.  •  The Oak Hill Fund  •  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation  •  The Rockefeller Foundation  •  U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development  •  U.S. Green Building Council  •  United Way Worldwide


Donate to our efforts in the Gulf Coast.


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