Bethlehem Lutheran Church needs your help now to build our second ADA-accessible affordable home in the heart of New Orleans through an innovative partnership with the Tulane University School of Architecture.
Our beloved neighbors and unique culture cannot survive without affordable housing. Can you share our Facebook post and then give $20 today to build this house?
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Bethlehem Lutheran Church
1823 Washington Ave
New Orleans, LA 70113
Bethlehem Lutheran Church - Affordable Housing and Free Meals
Last year, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, a 135-year-old historically Black Lutheran Congregation, took on one of the most ambitious projects in our history - the construction of an ADA-accessible affordable housing project to benefit our neighbors and our neighborhood in partnership with the Tulane School of Architecture's URBANbuild program. We started this project with no money in the bank to make it happen, only a belief that the work was so compelling and the need so great that our community would find a way to make it possible. Now, the first home is complete and occupied, and we are beginning construction of the second house! This Spring, with your help, we will build the second of four new affordable housing units across from the church. Alongside our affordable housing program, we currently provide over 600 free meals a week through our Community Table Free Meal Program and Community Fridge. We believe that following Jesus leads us to make our block, neighborhood, and world better, and we hope you will join us to make that vision a reality.
The Affordable Housing Crisis in New Orleans
Our vibrant Central City neighborhood is currently under assault by rising housing and rental prices. For example, the Median Household Income of Bethlehem’s 70113 ZIP is $18,446, and in New Orleans, you would have to work 113 hours a week at minimum wage to afford a 2bd rental at fair market rent. Meanwhile, the waiting list for affordable housing vouchers in New Orleans is over 20,000 people long. Overall, 33,593 Affordable Housing Opportunities are currently needed in the city. Since 2016, only 1,277 have been added. At every meal we serve, we hear terrible stories from our neighbors about illegal evictions, unsafe living conditions, and rent prices that families simply cannot afford.
The first phase of our project focuses on constructing four new affordable rental units over the new four years. Our second house will be 1100 sqft, features a beautiful sunroom, and has been designed from the beginning to be ADA-accessible throughout the first floor, with a second bedroom upstairs for a caretaker or family member.
Partner - Tulane University School of Architecture
To build these townhouses, Bethlehem Lutheran Church is partnering with URBANbuild, an award-winning program at the Tulane University School of Architecture. In this program, students design a house each fall and build it in the spring. The students work hard from 8am to sunset six days a week for the duration of the project, and it was incredible to see the dedication and care they put into the house. This collaboration between a school of Architecture and a faith community to build affordable housing is innovative and unique. One of the most remarkable parts of our partnership is that the School of Architecture is donating the design and labor for this project, allowing us to construct each house over $100,000 under the market cost.
Partner - CrescentCare
As each unit of housing is completed, we are partnering with CrescentCare, one of New Orleans' most respected community health organizations, to provide housing and supportive care to community members. CrescentCare provides high quality and culturally humble care to the entire New Orleans community. They are particularly focused on our Greater New Orleans neighbors who come from traditionally medically underserved communities: the service industry, the LGBTQ community, the uninsured and the underinsured, immigrants, and communities of color.
Because this project is already underway, it is imperative that we raise this money by Mardi Gras Day (Tuesday Febuary 21st). With your help, we will open our second unit of affordable housing this June!
Institutions that give at least $5,000 and Individuals/Familiesthat give at least $1,000 will receive special recognition on site once the project is completed.
Everyone who contributes will be invited in-person or virtually to our dedication and house blessing party (with special musical guests) once the house is completed!
Please join us and give what you can as we work together to reach our initial $50k fundraising goal. This will pay for the lumber, exterior walls, exterior doors, and exterior windows for this house!
Exterior and Interior Renderings of the Affordable Home Under Construction
The First Affordable Home - Complete!
Students from the Tulane School of Architecture Designed the house in the fall, and will build it this spring
Each week we serve over 600 free meals at Bethlehem
Please watch the short film below to learn more about Bethlehem Lutheran Church, our history, and this affordable housing project!
And, if you'd like to add something positive to your day, check out this extraordinary music from worship at Bethlehem