DHS Seal - FEMA    
FEMA Section 106 Notices for Louisiana
Comment on "Public Notice NHPA/NEPA1
Seeking Public Comment for FEMA Funded Construction
of the Mazant-Royal Housing Development,
4100 Royal Street, New Orleans
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Name: Name redacted at the request of the author
City: New Orleans
Mazant-Royal Housing Development, 4100 Royal St., New Orleans
Comments: There are numerous reasons why this proposed development is not the right fit for this block in Bywater, which are detailed thoroughly throughout these comments. As a 20 year neighborhood resident and business owner, I can wholeheartedly encourage FEMA to reconsider funding this iteration of an affordable housing development, which this neighborhood desperately needs. First, the funding will be going into the pockets of a private out-of-state developer who is seeking profit, who will own the building and will operate the facility, rather than to a municipal housing authority whose priority is benefiting those in need. Second, the construction and enduring effects of a building of this scale and density will undoubtedly have significant adverse effects on the surrounding historic properties, including, and not limited to foundation issues, subsidence, and drainage and sewerage issues. So far, these concerns have been denied by the developer. As an historic neighborhood that is rooted in Community, we are vulnerable to overwhelming parking and traffic issues, air quality problems, diminished quality of life concerns (for both current and these new residents), and perhaps most important for this area, major storm water management problems. Additionally, this project will not provide a physically or emotionally healthy living environment for its own residents. The massing of this proposal (potentially upwards of 500 people) is way too much for this one square block of a small, compact low-rise residential neighborhood. How can ITEX lease all of their market rate units in their plan, in order to get to the profit level they are after, when this population is literally crammed into the tight parameters set forth by this design? This proposal simply is not the right fit for this location. Furthermore, there are nearby alternatives, still within Bywater, that would work well. The former Naval Support facility is two blocks away, begging to be redeveloped and to include an impactful number of affordable housing units. The City owns the property that is now the largest blighted property in the entire City. Finally, the archaeological dig required by the Section 106 Review (thank you very much!), produced evidence of archaeological deposits that will inevitably be affected by the construction of a building of this immense scale. This process will also destroy aged Oak and Magnolia trees that epitomize the history and community of this area, in addition to provide drainage and minimize flooding to our homes and businesses. Please force ITEX, acting as a partner with HANO, to scale back their design in a way that truly serves our neighbors in need of QUALITY, HEALTHY affordable housing, if that is they purport to achieve. Thank you for taking the time to read and consider this.