City of New Orleans Receives Failing Grade for Second Year in a Row
ALSO: New Poll Shows Voters Demand Leaders Care About Affordable Housing
NEW ORLEANS – Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021 – New Orleans is once again wildly failing when it comes to providing and maintaining stable housing for its residents. For the second year in a row, New Orleans earned an “F” letter grade on the HousingNOLA 2021 Annual Report Card on the state of affordable housing. The report card grades the progress of HousingNOLA’s 10-Year Plan, including whether elected officials, lenders, policy makers, developers and city and state housing agencies have delivered on their commitments to provide affordable housing.
“To put it quite simply, city leaders did not build enough affordable housing units in the last 12 months,” says Andreanecia Morris, HousingNOLA Executive Director. “We needed 14,000 new affordable housing options, yet they only produced 900. And while this number may somehow sound encouraging to some, because the previous three years the city didn’t add any new affordable housing units, this mere 6% increase is hardly worth celebrating. City leaders continue to ignore the solutions. New Orleans is poised to receive millions more recovery dollars for housing, and we cannot and will not stand by and let them squander that money and not spend it on affordable housing. We are more than halfway through the 10-year plan, and instead of getting better, things are getting worse. The system we have now does not put New Orleanians first. It’s simply not good enough and we don’t accept it,” Morris says.
Key Findings from the 2021 HousingNOLA Annual Report Card:
Redefining Resiliency: Affordable Housing is Guaranteed Housing
If New Orleans wants to grow equitably and sustainably while maintaining affordability, leaders need to reevaluate how to stabilize the community on a regular basis and how to respond to emergency crises such as hurricanes. At this stage in the 10 Year Plan, HousingNOLA is redefining resiliency. Resiliency should no longer be measured by how much devastation a community can survive; it must be measured by the ability to protect and shelter the most vulnerable people from disasters. HousingNOLA’s resiliency plan is comprised of three parts.
- Secure and Rebuild – (Now – 6 Months) – Stabilize New Orleanians and build processes that keep them stable.
- Just Recovery (6 – 18 Months) – Fund climate-resilient homes and infrastructure, prioritizing investment for the most vulnerable communities.
- Housing Guarantee (Ongoing) – In the face of ongoing economic and climate crises, there must be a safety net for individuals and families to fall back on.
This HousingNOLA Report Card is even more timely as we head into an election Saturday. A new poll conducted by SEA Polling and Strategic Design, paid for and released today by HousingNOLA shows voters want politicians who invest in our communities by providing affordable housing and preparing our city for climate change.
Key Findings from new poll:
- 42% feel New Orleans is headed in the wrong direction compared to 33% saying right direction.
- 88% said they were more likely to vote for a candidate who wants to reimagine and invest in local communities to create more sustainable homes working families can afford and increase access to jobs, health care, shopping and public transportation.
- Still recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, 86% of respondents said climate is a serious threat to the future of New Orleans.
- The poll found overwhelmingly that New Orleans Voters want to invest in communities and housing everyone can afford; want a City Council who would stand up to powerful special interests and fight corruption; and city leaders who would focus on preventative emergency investments in housing as it relates to climate change.
- 89% of voters support increased funding for the production and preservation of high-quality housing that is affordable and keeps families together.
“This poll shows voters in New Orleans are concerned about climate change’s impact on the future of their city and lack of progress on working affordable neighborhoods than survive storms like Hurricane Ida in the future,” says Morris. “They see corporate influence and corruption stymying solutions and see a need to hold elected officials accountable for selling out to the fossil fuel industry while neighborhoods remain vulnerable to severe weather. The question remains will they show up and vote and be the generation to save New Orleans.”
Once again, HousingNOLA and its partners are calling on local and state leaders to take the steps necessary to solve our affordable housing crisis:
- Support and utilize the NHIF (Neighborhood Housing Improvement Fund)
- Allocate funding for 2022 for rental assistance
- Enact the Healthy Homes Ordinance (the Rental Registry)
- Prioritize utilizing ARPA funds to stabilize families NOW
- Implement mortgage assistance according to federal guidelines
Click to read the full HousingNOLA 2021 Annual Report Card
ABOUT HOUSING NOLA:
HousingNOLA is a 10-year partnership between the community, leaders, and dozens of public, private, and nonprofit organizations working to solve New Orleans’ affordable housing crisis by implementing the 10-Year Strategy and Implementation Plan. Rather than just being a written document, HousingNOLA is an ongoing initiative to collectively remind New Orleans and its elected officials of the issues we face and our pledge to maintain a plan of action. Data indicates the need for 33,600 additional affordable units in the city by 2025 and the data clearly shows that wages have not come close to mirroring the dramatic rise in housing costs. It’s our job to hold our leaders accountable to the recommendations we make in HousingNOLA.
Learn more at www.HousingNOLA.org