Meet the team
Andreanecia M. Morris serves as the Executive Director for HousingNOLA, a 10-year partnership between the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance (GNOHA), the Foundation for Louisiana, the City’s Office of Housing and Community Development, and dozens of public, private, and nonprofit organizations working to solve New Orleans’ affordable housing crisis.
Prior to her role as Executive Director, Morris spearheaded the HousingNOLA 10-year Strategy and Implementation Plan, released on December 10, 2015. The strategy indicates the need for 33,600 additional affordable units in the city by 2025. Further, the data clearly shows that wages have not come close to mirroring the dramatic rise in housing costs.
A graduate of Loyola University, Morris has worked to create affordable housing opportunities in the Greater New Orleans Area in both the public and private sector. Morris has assisted in creating opportunities for approximately 500 families to become first time homebuyers after Hurricane Katrina, and she was lead organizer for GNOHA when it started in 2007 as collaborative coalition of non-profit housing builders and community development corporations who work to rebuild the City of New Orleans.
Morris has established connections with community members, governmental officials and media to successfully promote the agenda for low to mixed-income housing in the Greater New Orleans region, and many people consider her a key player in rebuilding the city of New Orleans. Leaders like Morris and the organizations she is involved in have been actively sowing the seeds of transformation in a city known for its racial polarization, Nimbyism and challenging political infrastructure. Much of the city's progress to date has depended upon citizen leadership and an emerging infrastructure of nonprofit organizations that have helped local residents build their ability to influence policy decisions and develop creative, bottom-up solutions to the issues facing their communities.
Morris serves as President/Chairwoman for the GNOHA Board of Governors, which supports and advises the efforts to preserve and production of affordable housing for people within the Greater New Orleans Region and places a special emphasis on the needs of the most vulnerable in society—seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, low-wage workers and low-income families. Morris also co-chairs the Louisiana Housing Trust Fund Initiative, and she is a member of the Housing Authority of New Orleans’ Board of Commissioners, City of New Orleans Interagency Council on Homelessness, Lafitte Greenway Steering Advisory Committee, Louisiana Alliance for Economic Inclusion, CONNECT Coalition Steering Committee, JP Morgan Chase Louisiana Community Advisory Board, lowernine.org Board of Directors, ASI Federal Credit Union Board of Directors, Friends of Lafitte Greenway Board of Directors, Project Homecoming Board of Directors American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) Crescent City Connections Express Network and the American Heart Association Multicultural Leadership Committee.
She was recognized by the FDIC in 2011 for her leadership and service in supporting the mission of Southeast Louisiana Alliance for Economic Inclusion (AEI) Initiative. In 2014, she was named to 2014 CityBusiness Woman of the Year Class. She received the NeighborWorks ® Community Building & Engagement Staff Award for her work at the Sojourner Truth Neighborhood Center and the NEWCITY Neighborhood Partnership in 2015. Morris was also selected in 2015 to represent New Orleans in the East West Center US-Japan Grassroots Exchange focusing on Citizen Participation in Community Building Post-Disaster. In April 2016, UNITY of Greater New Orleans named Morris Outstanding Advocate for Affordable Housing.
Native New Orleanian, Nicole Barnes joined the Jericho Road team as Executive Director in March 2011. Ms. Barnes came to Jericho Road with over eighteen years of housing and community development experience. She has both a passion for serving low income families and a great understanding for housing issues that working families deal with. With experience in both the governmental and non-profit sectors, Ms. Barnes has been able to hit the ground running, stepping easily into existing relationships and bringing with her numerous new partners and contacts affording Jericho Road new opportunities. Jericho Road is fortunate to have such a passionate and driven individual leading the team as everyone works together to meet the ultimate goal of a revitalized Central City, New Orleans.
Angela O’Byrne is currently President of Perez, APC, a 70 year old architecture, landscape architecture, planning, and interior design firm in New Orleans; and Past President of AIA New Orleans for 2005. After Hurricane Katrina, she founded CityWorks, a 501©3 non-profit that is dedicated to transforming New Orleans into a model city for the nation.
Previously, she spent 12 years in New York working at SOM, Gensler, and DMJM. She has substantial experience in the design of various building types, including low income housing, justice, hospitality, transportation, corporate interiors, education, and others. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Tulane University, and an MS in Real Estate Development from Columbia University. She is a registered architect in a dozen states and has won numerous awards. She was named one of the “40 under 40—the Power Generation” by City Business in 1999; 40 under 40 by Gambit in 2000; Woman of the Year by City Business in 2001 and 2006; Architect of the Year by New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial in 2002; and was selected for the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (NORLI) in 2000.
She is active in a number of civic, industry, and trade associations (Womens Professional Council, Commercial Real Estate Women, Urban Land Institute, National Contract Management Association, American Institute of Architects, Jefferson Chamber), and sits on the Board of AIA Louisiana, the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute, the Tulane School of Architecture’s Dean’s Advisory Committee, and recently completed a 3 year term on the Board of the New Orleans Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Fred J. Johnson, Jr. has over 25 years of experience in planning, coordinating, educating, and counseling, families and individuals on the process of becoming and maintaining the rights, responsibilities and privileges of homeownership. He has been employed with the Neighborhood Development Foundation since its inception in 1986. Mr. Johnson helps to develop and maintain relationships within the housing industry including lenders, realtors, insurance agents, inspectors, appraisers, developers, city and state officials, etc.
As a counselor, advisor, and advocate for homeowners, Mr. Johnson provides counseling to individuals and families seeking to build their assets through homeownership. He assists clients in the development of action plans to build their assets and resolve credit issues and advocating for clients throughout the entire homeownership experience. In addition, Mr. Johnson provides educational services to non-profit organizations and businesses around the country to enable them to provide those same services to their communities. As a housing advocate, Mr. Johnson participates in several housing organizations that shape housing policies and the industry that is responsible for its governance.
Victor Smeltz is the Executive Vice President of Housing Development for Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans. Beginning in September 2006, he has focused on formulating and implementing the development strategy for Renaissance Neighborhood Development Corporation, a unique partnership between Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans and Volunteers of America National Services, to initially create at least 1000 new units of mixed-income family housing.
Before joining Volunteers of America, he served for over five years as Development Director for the Housing Authority of Portland in Portland, Oregon, and was the former Manager of Housing Finance for the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department. Prior to becoming involved in affordable housing, Mr. Smeltz worked in the design and construction of a number of commercial real estate projects in Oregon and California, including offices, medical facilities and market-rate housing.
Mr. Smeltz is an honor graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Architecture. He has completed extensive coursework as a Certified Commercial Investment Manager (CCIM) Candidate, and is a registered architect in the state of Oregon, as well as with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB.) Mr. Smeltz has also served on the Boards of a number of non-profit corporations involved with the development of mixed-income housing and resident services.