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WESTWEGO, LA-NHP Foundation is ready to launch renovations on the 384-unit Tanglewood Apartments. The New York City-based company will invest about $27 million into the asset, which was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Ghebre Selassie Mehreteab, co-chairman and CEO of the NHP Foundation, says the 1980s-built Tanglewood at 1300 Tanglewood Dr. is 55% occupied, but anticipates that will increase once interior renovations are completed. Upgrades will begin by September, with completion estimated for mid-2009.

Tanglewood is one of many affordable housing properties that NHP has acquired in the Gulf Coast region in the past three years. NHP’s goal is to provide affordable housing to lower- and moderate-income residents displaced by the 2005 hurricanes.

In recent months, NHP has invested heavily in Baton Rouge, LA, acquiring the 184-unit Goodwood Place Apartments at 356 Apartment Ct.; 246-unit Magnolia Trace Apartments at 11581 N. Harrells Ferry; 313-unit Copper Ridge Apartments at 2080 N. Lobdell Ave.; 96-unit Towne Oaks Apartments at 1331 N. Sherwood Forest Dr. It also acquired the 276-unit Cypress Apartments at 4249 Fifth Ave. in Lake Charles.

NHP also is backed by a $4.5-million grant from the state of Qatar, which provides aid to low- and moderate-income residents displaced by the hurricanes. A recent decision added Magnolia Trace and Copper Ridge to the roster. Mehreteab says the grant, originally issued to NHP in 2006, was initially geared toward Tanglewood Apartments and the 284-unit Forest Park Apartments at 3708 Garden Oaks Dr. in New Orleans.

Mehreteab tells GlobeSt.com that the grant provides a $100 to $200 per month subsidy to displaced families. “Unlike Section 8 funding, where residents can take the voucher and go wherever, this grant is only for our properties,” he says. “Tenants have to meet strict income criteria as well, making 60% below the median income.”

Mehreteab adds that Qatar most likely will provide more grant money as NHP creates more housing. He says the company is looking into rehab and ground-up development opportunities in New Orleans, with the end goal to have 3,000 units in Gulf Coast states by the end of 2009. Mehreteab says the company needs to acquire or build about 1,100 more units to reach the goal.

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