Housing and Community Development

Project Home Again
Project Home Again seeks to offer displaced, moderate-income New Orleanians a way home. The Project has developed and built a prototype home in New Orleans’ Sixth Ward. The project also is seeking a parcel for 100-150 homes that can serve as a beacon for neighborhood recovery.

Back Home in New Orleans
Back Home in New Orleans is a housing pilot program of the AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corporation. This initiative is supported by a collaboration of local and national development experts. Primary emphasis is on redeveloping housing for moderate-income families and workforce development through the construction process. MIT’s work focuses on identifying community expertise and defining the role of local stakeholders.


MIT @ NOLA Studio
MIT @ NOLA Studio is an MIT-based design workshop that was retained to provide architectural services, such as designing storm resistant buildings, to Project Home Again. When Project Home Again obtains a parcel for housing development, the design team will evaluate the development capacity for the site and help develop a site plan.

Community Investment Strategies

Real Gains
Real Gains is an project that forges alliances between community organizations and labor union investment capital. After Hurricane Katrina, Real Gains relocated its national center to New Orleans. Real Gains and MIT have partnered on Back Home in New Orleans, and are actively trying to identify additional investment sites in the city.

Community Organizing

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)
From January to June 2006, a team of MIT graduate students documented grassroots activism
and local revitalization efforts on behalf of the UUSC. Three reports detail their input on supporting community organizing for the UUSC and a network of progressive funders. The reports can be viewed at http://www.uusc.org/katrina/index.html.

Community Economic Development and Workforce Development

Main Streets Partnership
MIT has partnered with the New Orleans Main Street Program to support revitalization and rebuilding in Main Street Districts. These efforts seek to link small business and workforce development to local residents and communities. The initial Tremé neighborhood pilot will include commercial district plans and implementation support.

MIT/University of New Orleans (UNO) Economic Development Partnership

MIT and UNO have initiated a five-year partnership to offer economic development and finance planning support to public and community-based organizations. Since last February, MIT students have completed six consulting projects in New Orleans and neighboring Jefferson County.

City Policy Advisory Group
At the invitation of the New Orleans’ Mayor’s office, MIT will assemble a team of experts on a wide range of urban and disaster recovery policy issues. In partnership with Camp, Dresser & McKee, Inc. (CDM) and New Ecology, Inc., MIT will focus on developing models
for redevelopment and workforce planning.

Organizational Capacity Building

Redevelopment Fellowship Programs
The Fellowship will match experienced real estate professionals with Gulf Coast community organizations. Each fellow commits two years to help build community development capacity at their community partner; fellows receive guidance from a senior fellow in residence in the Gulf. A mini-pilot is running now through the MIT Public Service Center and Real Gains.

Environmental Health

People’s Environmental Center
Under the direction of 2005-2006 MLK Visiting Professor Earthea Nance, MIT students helped develop the People’s Environmental Center. This neighborhood center provides equipment and technology for residents to perform their own soil and water testing, empowering them to evaluate the safety of their neighborhoods.

Information Systems/Technology

Developing Urban Information Systems with GCR
GCR and Associates, a New Orleans-based technology and planning firm, will partner with MIT to build an urban information system to support recovery efforts. Initial project intent is to embed these technologies in municipal government to facilitate informed decision-making in rebuilding.












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