Complex Compliance on Multi-family Builds Means Greater Impact

  • by Bill Tomasak with Mathilde Tubbs and Taylor Gilliam
  • Blog

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Landis doesn’t mind taking on the more complex jobs, because it’s through these that often the greatest measurable impact is felt.

One such area of impact is affordable housing. The cost of housing continues to rise, pushing individuals who don’t make a high salary out of the city. To meet this challenge, a pointed effort has ensued joining federal, state, and local entities for the development of more affordable housing. When there is an opportunity to be the general contractor on such projects providing housing for New Orleans's low-income residents, we are usually quick to jump at it.

Landis has significant experience working on multi-family developments and championing solutions for housing needs. Along with that category of work comes complex compliance. Complex compliance here refers to the contracting, employing, and training often ordinary in such developments. These projects provide us the satisfaction that we are not only delivering much needed housing to our city, but also encouraging the growth and prosperity of residents and smaller firms through contracting, employing, training, and even mentoring.

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We complete these projects in several steps and requirements. First, we usually clean up underserved areas that are either overgrown bush fields or run-down vacant properties. Next, we get to manage the construction process whether new construction or renovation. As a part of these developments, the developer is usually required to provide subsidized housing or a reduced market rate. So, on a given development, a percentage of the units being built will be reserved for low-income households; others will be set aside for moderate income tenants and some market rate. This framework encourages growth of the neighborhood in an equitable way.

Otherwise, many compliance components required on these projects fall to the GC, who is then responsible for hitting the project goals. Frequently a required goal is DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) subcontractor participation, consisting of minority-owned businesses, woman-owned businesses, and Section 3 businesses. As GC, we can aid in payment terms, connecting those firms with labor providers and/or larger firms, or offering our overall general contracting expertise to help a firm upscale its operation.

There is routinely a component for Section 3 (limited income) individuals required by HUD, which is championed by HANO in our city. A certain percentage of the manhours worked on the job must be completed by Section 3 employees. This allows lower-income individuals an opportunity to advance and develop in this industry. In addition to the contracting and man-hour requirements, Landis works to develop specialized training courses to aid in up-skilling the local work force. This training program always includes construction training, which we typically couple with other high opportunity training. Training programs on past projects have included Heavy Equipment Operator certifications, CDL licensing, OSHA Safety Course, other construction based skilled training, and healthcare industry certificates. All of these are offered at no cost to the recipient. This training opportunity serves the individuals (skilled training), advances the community (trainees are earning higher wages), and has a direct impact on the overall workforce.

Through the years, Landis has excelled in these arrangements where we not only build a beautiful product and provide a needed resource, but also share the opportunities with our fellow construction professionals, be they DBE, WBE, MBE, or Section 3. We consider it a privilege to pursue our work in this way—maximizing opportunity for the community and standing in the gap as a larger GC willing to tackle this meaningful work.

This is what we do. Landis is a New Orleans company. We view ourselves as active participants in the success and improvement of the city. We want the city to be vibrant and do well in the long run, and more affordable housing, along with its complex compliance, is a big part of that.

 

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8300 Earhart Boulevard, Suite 300
New Orleans, LA 70118
PO Box 4278
New Orleans, LA 70178

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Fax: (504) 833.6662

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