Motor City Apartments Receives Funding, Development in East Baton Rouge Parish

NEW ORLEANS, LA (January 25, 2021) – The Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) board recently approved a $16 million bond allocation for Renaissance Neighborhood Development Corporation (RNDC), a subsidiary of Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana (VOASELA), to develop 110 affordable rental units in East Baton Rouge parish. The Motor City Apartments will be located on an entire city block in mid-city Baton Rouge and is preserving a historic auto dealership by interweaving it with a new, four-story building. The aim of the development is to assist working families, households with children, seniors, and people with disabilities find affordable housing.

“Over the years, we have worked hard to identify areas that are in need of good, safe, and affordable housing,” said Victor Smeltz, Executive Director of Renaissance Neighborhood Development Corporation. “We are excited at the prospect of repurposing the historic auto dealership as common area for new, affordable housing and contributing to the overall redevelopment of this neighborhood so close to downtown Baton Rouge.”

Once completed, the property will boast off-street parking, a pool and deck area, a fitness room, and a shared community area. Once completed, this will be the fourteenth property developed by RNDC in the state of Louisiana. Other projects currently underway in Louisiana are the 122-unit Valencia Park Apartments in Baton Rouge’s Spanish Town and the 80-single family home neighborhood of St. John Village in Covington.

“We are excited to continue to provide affordable housing throughout the state,” said Voris Vigee, President and CEO of Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana. “By developing and offering an outstanding product to those who are in need, we are fulfilling the mission of Volunteers of America set 125 years ago to ‘go wherever we are needed and do whatever comes to hand.’” David Kneipp, President and CEO of Volunteers of America Greater Baton Rouge, echoes this sentiment.

This multi-million-dollar investment represents a combination of LHC's Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and Multi-family Revenue Bonds (MRBs) and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds administered by the State of Louisiana, Office of Community Development. The Multi-family Mortgage Revenue Bond program uses tax-exempt bonds to provide below market-rate loans to developers who set aside a certain percentage of their apartment units for low-income families. The bonds are leveraged with 10-year 4 percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC).

For more information about Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana, visit
For more information about Renaissance Neighborhood Development Corp., visit
For renderings of the Motor City Apartments, visit Dropbox.

Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana is a part of a national, nonprofit, faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. Since 1896, our ministry of service has supported and empowered America's most vulnerable groups, including at-risk youth, the frail elderly, men returning from prison, people with disabilities, and those recovering from addictions. Our work touches the mind, body, heart and ultimately the spirit of those we serve, integrating our deep compassion with highly effective programs and services.

About RNDC:
Formed in 2006, Renaissance Neighborhood Development Corporation is a collaboration between Volunteers of America National Services and Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana. This partnership fully leverages Volunteers of America National Services’ vast housing experience and its ability to secure funding through its financial strength and national relationships, together with Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana's ability to select appropriate sites, conceptualize developments, create and maintain appropriate local relationships, and manage the development team for the implementation of selected projects. In 2012, the Board approved expanding RNDC’s efforts throughout Louisiana, working in collaboration with Volunteers of America North Louisiana.