September 28th, 2022 – On Thursday, during the New Orleans City Council’s Governmental Affairs Meeting, the committee is set to consider the “Healthy Homes” Ordinance. City Council Vice President JP Morrell introduced this measure during last week’s City Council meeting.
The ordinance would improve conditions for renters and hold slumlords accountable for maintaining rental property and will serve as a data collection and outreach tool to help the City target where resources are needed the most.
“New Orleans is a renting city. Nearly half of our population is renters, compared to 36% at the national level,” said Councilmember At-Large JP Morrell. “Absolutely no one should be paying 33% or more of their income to live in a rental unit that doesn’t provide a safe and healthy environment for its inhabitants. As budgets get tighter and rent goes higher, it’s imperative that strengthen protections for renters to ensure a standard and improved quality of life.”
For the better part of a decade, New Orleans residents have debated the need for a Healthy Homes Program, and the time has come to act. Thousands of families live in homes with mold, leaks, rats, and other hazards every day, with no way to hold their landlords accountable. Hurricanes and storms exacerbate these hazardous conditions and frequently evict families. Substandard housing endangers residents’ health, reduces school performance, and weakens our communities.
A rental registry will serve as an effective data collection and outreach tool, allowing the city to direct resources where they are most needed and respond quickly in times of emergency. Slumlords profit from our lax health and safety standards. The City has devoted a significant portion of its code enforcement resources to blighted, vacant properties while ignoring occupied rentals.
As a member of the Healthy Homes Coalition, we encourage the Council to support this ordinance as a solution to finally address New Orleans’ legacy of dangerous and badly maintained rental properties.
Click here to make comments on item 1 (Ord. Cal. No. 33,898) before 8:00 AM tomorrow, or voice your support in person tomorrow at 1:00 PM at the City Council Chambers at 1300 Perdido St, New Orleans, LA 70112. View the ordinance here.
Sample Comment for Item #1: I would encourage the City Council to consider the Healthy Homes Ordinance to protect all renters in the City of New Orleans.