By Richard Thompson | The New Orleans Advocate
After a year of looking in New Orleans, Gino Ray’s search for a first home led someplace he wasn’t expecting — St. Bernard Parish.
“I never even knew where Arabi was,” admits Ray, 32, who moved there last year.
Now, Ray lives in a newly built three-bedroom, two-bathroom home with his fiancée and young son. It may be less lively than Mid-City, where they used to rent and figured they would end up. There may be fewer businesses than in Bywater or Lakeview, popular neighborhoods that were high on his wish list.
But in the city, Ray couldn’t find what he wanted for a price he could afford.
On the other hand, St. Bernard offered more of a complete package: a new home on a big lot in a quiet neighborhood — at about two-thirds of the cost of buying in Lakeview.
And it was made possible through a new parish-led initiative that bundles former Road Home lots for builders who are ready to put up brand-new, quality homes that offer the features that most buyers are looking for but often are unable to afford in the city.
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