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The Lower 9th Ward Design Studio at NENA provides pro bono on-site architectural, construction administration, and permitting assistance to residents as they rebuild their homes. The Studio's activities are highly integrated with NENA's case management services and will work on both rehabilitation and new construction projects with residents, assisting with property assessments, building design, preliminary cost estimating, contractor identification, and the ongoing administration of construction work. In addition, the Design Studio will collaborate with residents to develop sustainable design standards for the community, and will play an integral role in NENA's own development activities.

Below are some examples of the work by our Design Studio.

Ms. Linda needed a housing solution that would allow her to return home while salvaging her original hurricane damaged home for future rehabilitation. After researching options dictated by various zoning and code ordinances the Design Studio developed a project which would allow her to build a new home located at the rear of her existing home on the same lot. The home which is being built for Ms. Linda is the first example of the 2 Bedroom, 1 Bath Plan Book home initially developed by Design Studio's original director John Dwyer. The Design Studio provided Ms. Linda with all stages of services from design inception and planning through permitting and construction administration. The construction of this house is being led by David Kramer from the Volunteer group Gulf Coast Works.

Mrs. Lorita needed a place to care for the children of both daughters. Following Hurricane Katrina and the death of her daughter, as well as the serious illness of a second daughter,  She began construction on an addition for her extended family following the storm.  Following the extreme personal hardships after the storm, she was not familiar with City procedures, did not have an architect to guide her through the process, and began construction without a permit.  Upon notification by the City that this was not allowed, she stopped construction.  Since then, she has abided by the City's rules, and tolerated the weather damage to her existing construction, caused by the time to obtain corrective professional help from NENA, and the wait in order to follow due process of the ZBA, ARC, and HDLC.

Charles & Florence  approached the design studio looking to replace their storm ravaged home with something simple which would serve the two of them in their retirement. After meeting with Design Studio the Banks decided they would like to have the 2 Bed, 1 Bath Plan Book home. The Design Studio made revisions to the plan to accommodate specific site and client requirements before moving the project through the permitting process and providing construction administration. Mr. Charles is a retired carpenter and is currently working with his family and friends to complete the construction of his family's new home. The Director of Design Studio has also assisted the Banks by volunteering time outside of work to help build their home.

 Want to know what's been going on at NENA's monthly Community Meetings? 

Check out our "Community Meeting Updates"


·         The  U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has approved NENA to be a Housing Counseling Agency.

·         You can register for disaster food stamps at NENA. One of our trained staff members will assist you.

·         Dr. King Charter School was the first school to open in the Lower Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina.

·         NENA Community Meetings are scheduled every second Saturday of the month.

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