New Orleans is creating hundreds of affordable housing opportunities where tens of thousands are needed
NEW ORLEANS – March 28, 2023 – The HousingNOLA Semi-Annual Report, which tracks how many affordable housing opportunities are being created in New Orleans, shows city and state leaders continue to fail to deliver on their commitments to provide affordable housing. We are currently mid-way through year 8 of the HousingNOLA 10-Year Strategy and Implementation Plan, which calls for 44,000 new affordable housing units in the city by the year 2025, and roughly only 3,100 new affordable units have been created.*
The current insurance crisis is having a devastating impact on housing, as seen in this year’s Semi-Annual Report, which is put together using data gathered from city and state housing agencies. HousingNOLA is calling on elected officials and policy makers to stabilize and reduce costs in the insurance market for housing of all types. Insurance is a major factor in delays of multi-family projects and affects single-family homeowners’ ability to purchase. We must stabilize Louisiana Citizens by investing in it and allowing it to function correctly as an insurance company without the constraints that benefit the private insurance industry. Additionally, we need to provide discounted insurance rates for developments that meet fortified standards.
“The challenges with creating affordable housing continue to be exacerbated by the insurance crisis,” says Andreanecia Morris, Executive Director of HousingNOLA. “It’s imperative we not only address insurance but also that we build homes that are more resilient and energy efficient, which will therefore be cheaper to insure. This insurance crisis is a deal breaker. And while policy makers should have figured out how to fix it through any of myriad of pandemic and disaster response programs we’ve been through – they didn’t. And now this is too disastrous to keep playing the game of make a bad choice and kick the can down the road. We have officially run out of road.”
HousingNOLA continues to urge our elected officials and city and state housing development agencies to consider how funding and implementing the following interventions can help bridge financing gaps in affordable housing development programs and preservation programs:
- Establish a State gap financing program for use with 4% Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) financing to preserve and rehabilitate affordable housing properties with expiring affordability periods.
- Restore funding for the Neighborhood Housing Improvement Program at a level of at least $3 million per year in the short term, with an aim of growing this to $10 million per year over the next five years.
- Establish an expedited permitting system with dedicated staff for affordable housing developments in the City of New Orleans
Read more of HousingNOLA’s recommendations in the full report.
*In February of 2022, due to the dire need and city leaders’ lack of response, HousingNOLA and its partners felt it necessary to update the 10-year plan from 33,600 housing units needed to 44,000 housing units needed and provide a financial roadmap to end our city’s affordable housing crisis. The Housing for All Action Plan revealed $37 billion is needed to ensure equitable development that will help New Orleans grow its population and economy, and recovery quickly from disasters. The plan included actionable items to achieve success.
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 44,000 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