Grace Project Inc (GP Inc) was organized in January 2000 by a group of community-minded individuals who sought to uplift the Allendale Community through sustained economic development, investing in social services and improving the quality of the affordable housing stock in the community. The organization has a history of building affordable housing in the Allendale community.
Grace Project has served a role as a strong advocate for the community economic revitalization of Allendale, Lakeside and contiguous communities. Grace Project’s Board of Directors is comprised of residents of the community and stakeholders from businesses and faith-based organizations in the Allendale, Lakeside and contiguous community.
Prior Experience of Organization
Before is creation, the organizers of Grace Project Inc had been working in the Allendale and Lakeside area developing quality affordable housing for over two decades. The organizers worked to create the “Canaan Village” apartment complex in the early 1970s. This development was the first of its kind, bringing both affordable multifamily living as well as much needed social services to the Allendale area. There was the first daycare center in the community as well as laundromat to service not only the residents of the apartment complex but the community as well.
As part of the “Canaan Village” development, space was created whereby GED courses and literacy courses were offered to the community. There were a number of other social services houses in the “Canaan Village” development, keeping with the concept of “it takes a village” to raise children and improve a community.
The organizers of Grace Project then worked to develop the “Canaan Towers,” which is still the tallest structure in the Allendale and Lakeside community, providing seven floors of affordable housing for senior citizens and those requiring assisted living accommodations. The “Canaan Towers” also has a strong economic development component in that space is provided for businesses that support the needs of the residents and the associated community. The entrepreneurs who operate their businesses from the spaces are more than not residents of the Allendale, Lakeside and Associated Community, again helping to circulate dollars within the community.
After creating Grace Project Inc, the organizers took their work to another level by developing five units of affordable, single-family housing in the Allendale, Lakeside community. These five single-family units were the first constructed in the neighborhood in over two decades. In developing these units, Grace took blighted, adjudicated property and returned it to the Parish’s tax rolls. The partner developers were Minority developers and the General Contractor was a Minority Contractor, again fulfilling the mission of bringing economic revitalization and sustainable community development to the community.