Release Date: April 8, 2019

Contact: Sherry Tyler, 206.832.1306, sherry.tyler@vitus.com
 

VITUS ACQUIRES FIRST REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT IN LOUISIANA

National affordable housing developer rehabilitates property and partners with Rainbow Housing Association to provide educational courses for tenants

BATON ROUGE, La. – Vitus, a national developer and owner of affordable housing, has announced the planned preservation and renovation of the 140-unit La Playa Apartments (formerly known as Suburban Apartments) in Baton Rouge. The renovation is the company’s first project in Louisiana and includes large-scale improvements to an apartment complex that has provided affordable housing to low-income families in Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish for 43 years.

As part of the acquisition, Vitus renewed a Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment contract and entered into an extended use agreement that guarantees the continued affordability of the property for 35 years. In doing this, Vitus is addressing the region’s critical need for affordable housing while also preserving and enhancing an important apartment community.

“It is great to see new companies coming to Baton Rouge and investing time and money to improve our city,” said Erika Green, council member for district 5 in Baton Rouge. “This project is going to preserve local affordable housing options and provide a home to residents for many years to come.”

In addition to the physical rehabilitation process, Vitus is working with the Rainbow Housing Association Corporation to offer resident services that will benefit the children and families that live at La Playa. This partnership allows Vitus to provide educational programs for tenants that include: financial literacy, employment readiness, health and nutrition, computer training, crisis intervention, and parenting classes. Rainbow Housing will also use a referral form and call center to connect tenants to valuable resources like food and clothing assistance, crisis intervention, and online programs for General Education Development (GED) and English as a Second Language (ESL).

“Vitus specializes in protecting and extending the physical life of properties for residents in need,” said Samantha Cullen, development manager for Vitus. “Through our partnership with Rainbow Housing, we are proud to also offer a wide variety of programs and resources. By pairing stable, quality housing with education we are able to have an even greater positive impact on the lives of our residents and the surrounding community.”

Renovation for the La Playa building is currently underway and scheduled to be completed by the end 2019. Vitus’s $16.5 million investment will cover numerous interior and exterior improvements such as full kitchen and bathroom remodels, new HVAC systems in all units, new roofs and windows, conversion of 7 units to be ADA complaint, and a range of site repairs. In addition, the property will receive a new a community room, computer lab, community garden, outdoor walking path and picnic area. To honor Vitus’s commitment to environmentally-friendly construction and housing, upgrades will include high-efficiency lighting packages, low-E coated windows, ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances and high-efficiency plumbing fixtures.

The project is expected to create only minimal disruption for residents and the surrounding community. 

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ABOUT VITUS
At Vitus, our mission is to create positive impact – one community, one family and one life at a time. Since 1996 we have partnered with lenders, investors and public agencies to preserve and extend the life of existing affordable housing across the country in markets with the greatest need. Through holistic renovation, we focus on the well-being of residents and rejuvenating the surrounding community to both improve the overall quality of each property and incorporate features that promote physical activity, community gathering and energy efficiency. To date, our team has provided stable homes for more than 25,000 residents in 25 states. www.vitus.com

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