When HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan officially broke ground on the new B.W. Cooper (otherwise known as the Calliope Projects in New Orleans), its most famous former resident was there playing his part in the rebuilding of this new and improved community.
Master P is best known for his hip-hop empire, but today he’s Percy Miller, or P. Miller, business man and champion of change. “I want to be able to show these guys look at me. I changed my image, I changed my life and I had to grow up,” said Miller.
He is responsible for bringing development dollars into the rebuild of his community where he grew up, while many hip-hop artists only talk about it in their song lyrics.
Miller has acquired the knowledge in real estate development skills through his relationship and mentorship with business banking and financial management specialist, Mr. Keith Keys, President of KBK Enterprise, encompassing over a billion dollars of real estate development properties. However, Miller admits that his real estate development goals were initially inspired by the achievements of Donald Trump.
“I’m honored to be a part of the ground breaking alongside President Obama’s right hand man, Secretary Shaun Donovan who shares the same goals as me, which is to help B.W. Cooper residents get back into their new homes,” said Miller.
During Donovan’s fourth trip to New Orleans, he relayed encouraging news for families still trying to rebuild.
“We worked closely with the state and the city to get services to them, so we could help them with whatever challenges were keeping them from getting into a permanent home and as you heard today we made a number of changes to speed assistance to help rebuild homes,” said Donovan.
Donovan says since he took over HUD, 30,000 families waiting for help from the disaster assistance housing program have transitioned to permanent homes.
He also adds that the Obama Administration also took a closer look at “duplication of benefits” rules that left many homeowners trying to rebuild unable to get enough financial help to finish their homes.
The B.W. Cooper is being renamed “Marrero Commons” after Yvonne Marrero, a well-known neighborhood activist who died after Katrina.
Developers say the mixed-income development will be ready for resident to move-in by the end of next year.