A housing nonprofit formed after Hurricane Katrina has opened an apartment complex of affordable rental units in New Orleans for veterans and residents.
SBP, formerly called the St. Bernard Project, has been helping homeowners repair their flood-damaged properties since the 2005 storm. It has since expanded leasing properties to people in need.
Liz McCartney is the chief operating officer of SBP.
“There came a point, back in about 2009, where we just got sick of telling people who had rented prior to Katrina that we couldn’t help them," she said. " And about five years ago we decided, well, there’s some people who can’t afford home ownership but they still need a decent safe place to live that’s affordable.”
The apartment building is called The St. Peter. It’s on St. Peter Street near Broad Street along the Lafitte Greenway. There are 50 energy-efficient units with about half set aside for veterans. McCartney said the location is centrally located and easily accessible to the new veterans’ hospital.
One of those vets just about ready to move into his one-bedroom unit is Army veteran Sherman McClesky. While on duty he helped Haitian and Cuban refugees get housing. He says it’s karma that’s now being paid forward to him.
He’s currently living at the New Orleans Mission and walks to his job at the Convention Center.
“A veteran should never literally live to regret serving his country," he said. "Once they complete their duties, please help them out.”
SBP is now working on houses to rent in the Lower Ninth Ward.