New Orleans is currently in an affordable housing crisis where 63% of renters are cost-burdened. We must seize every opportunity to create safe and decent affordable housing across our city. We have lost more affordable housing opportunities than we created over the course of the past two years, resulting in New Orleans’ homeless population rising after 11 years of decreases. HANO’s development partner is proposing to build a complex in the Bywater with 136 units, 82 of them affordable for people whose income could potentially be as little as $13,800 per year.
Since 2000, the average income of the once redlined neighborhood, has almost doubled from $38,240 to $62,418, outpacing the average income of the city and drastically increasing rents and home values in the area. In fact, the neighborhood (ripe with job opportunities, reliable transit options, and commerce) has gone from 68% black to 72% white since 2000, on top of still being short roughly 1,500 people who were displaced by Katrina.
HANO scattered sites are an integral component in the strategy to meet the affordable housing needs of New Orleans. We must support their attempts to do better by the families they serve and allow for the different tools that may be implemented to do so including: subsidized housing, traditional public housing, project based vouchers, or low-income housing tax credits. This is especially important as disaster funding for redevelopment resources continue to decline. A recent traffic count study determined that the development will not have a negative impact on traffic in the community. Additionally, both the New Orleans City Planning Commission and City Council have approved of this development. The City of New Orleans has also made a commitment to affirmatively further fair housing. In communities of opportunity, we need to ensure that those opportunities are offered to groups of people who have been historically marginalized, particularly when we have a chance like now.
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