Building an Affordable Future

Anna Labadie

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT Anna Labadie (SLA ’08, MBA ’15)

As senior project manager for New Orleans real estate developer Gulf Coast Housing Partnership, Anna Labadie (SLA ’08, MBA ’15)
plays many roles.

One day she’s thinking like an architect. The next day, a banker. Or a contractor. An advocate. A manager. The best days are when she sees her affordable
housing developments come to life.

“With my experience and degree, I have the skills to develop any kind of real estate,” she says. “But at GCHP, I’m able to really make an impact.”

Gulf Coast Housing Partnership (GCHP) is a 501(c)(3) real estate company founded in 2006 to revitalize the Gulf Coast through transformative developments. Over the last 16 years, the company has built 75 residential and commercial developments and more than 3,800 affordable homes for residents from Texas to Alabama.

Labadie joined GCHP in 2015 as a project analyst and was promoted to project manager in 2017 and senior project manager in 2022. In her current role, she leads the development of affordable housing properties in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama, directing every aspect of multi-million-dollar projects, from conception and design to construction and leasing.

The work is never ending. At any given moment, Labadie might be negotiating financing terms, trudging around a muddy site to check construction progress, modeling a new transaction in Excel, or presenting at City Hall.

“No two days are the same and there are always challenges, but luckily, I really enjoy a challenge,” Labadie says.

Her work is complex — managing contractors, architects and financing partners, and their contrasting interests, while following tight schedules and often tighter budgets — but it pays off. More than 10,000 people live in GCHP developments, and 85% of those units are dedicated to low-income residents.

A native of Portland, Oregon, Labadie planned to move away from New Orleans after graduating from Tulane, but then Hurricane Katrina hit during her sophomore year. The storm forced New Orleans to confront its need for affordable, sustainable housing. It inspired GCHP to start building. And the destruction it wreaked motivated Labadie to stay.

After starting her career with non-profit and interior design jobs, Labadie returned to Tulane to earn her MBA.

“I realized that I wanted to be the decision-maker,”
she says.

Since joining GCHP, Labadie has been at the helm of more than a dozen projects, overseeing nearly $100 million in development ventures, including both residential and commercial developments, federally qualified health centers and community facilities, utilizing Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, New Markets Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits and other sources.

Some projects can even transform communities. GCHP recently completed a storm-resilient development in Lockport, Louisiana, for residents whose homes were destroyed by Hurricane Ida. Now, those people have safe homes for the next hurricane season and beyond.

“That’s what’s really special about what I do,” she says.

Labadie’s most recent project was her largest yet: a $35 million, 120-unit mixed-income residential
development in downtown Houston.

“When you are in the day-to-day development of a project, you’re not necessarily focused on the tangible impact it’s going to have,” she says. “Then, when residents move in, you’re able to see the difference you’ve made for a family who had been struggling to find affordable housing.

“I feel very accomplished,” Labadie adds. “Once you become a developer, you never look at a building the
same way.”

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