New Orleans, La. – Project Home Again is one of several foundations formed by Barnes and Noble Chairman Leonard Riggio and his wife, Louise. It focuses on middle-class housing, and has built 33 homes in New Orleans so far. They were on hand for the ground-breaking, and the opening of the latest house the nonprofit has finished. Riggio said the New York-based foundation took shape 90 days after Hurricane Katrina.
A few lots down from the ground-breaking ceremony is a new, elevated three-bedroom home that Project Home Again built for pre-school teacher Shanda Hayes, and her two children. She evacuated to Georgia, and just this year decided to return.
Hayes swapped her former Gentilly home, which was destroyed in the floods, for the new one a few blocks away. The nonprofit arranged financing that will, in five years, allow her to pay off the home.