The Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana and Whitney National Bank
plan to build 150 homes for low-income, first-time buyers in Central City. The diocese aspires to join other faith-based groups after a modest start of five houses. Once those homes have been sold, proceeds will be plowed back into new sites via a $20 million revolving fund created by Whitney. The bank also will make construction loans and permanent loans to qualified buyers under the program.
has committed $500,000 to Xavier University to help revitalize Xavier's chemistry and pharmacology buildings after Hurricane Katrina. The pharmaceutical giant is donating $300,000 to fix up the Xavier campus and provide scholarships for students and faculty retention initiatives, along with $200,000 in computers and lab equipment. Pfizer also will provide summer and academic-credit internships for Xavier students and summer research opportunities for Xavier faculty.
The Nagin Administration
sidetracked a $7 million grant put together by Tulane University two years ago to give the metropolitan area cutting-edge technology for "interoperability" in times of crisis — one that could have improved communications and saved lives during Hurricane Katrina. Mayor Ray Nagin's chief technology officer, Greg Meffert, says one proponent of the plan had a conflict of interest, which is disputed. Conflict or not, there was enough time in the year before Katrina to get a system in place.