NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s Office of Community Development (OCD) has awarded over $12 million to development partners to create or preserve over 700 affordable rental and homeownership units in the City. The announcement comes during Fair Housing Month, which was created to commemorate of the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968.
“Since 2010, this administration has made increasing affordable housing options in New Orleans a top priority,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “We have created an additional 13,000 rental units for low-income families and more than 17,000 families now receive assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher Program. While we still have work to do, we are making great strides in addressing the urgent housing needs in our community. As our City continues to experience historic growth, it is more important than ever to work strategically with both public and private partners to preserve affordable housing in New Orleans. These investments in our community are meaningful steps forward.”
Last year, Housing for a Resilient New Orleans, Mayor Landrieu’s strategy to increase affordable housing in New Orleans, was released and set a goal to build or preserve 7,500 affordable housing units by 2021. The work will be accomplished through four complementary goals: 1) supporting development of new affordable rental and homeownership opportunities, 2) preserving affordability and quality of existing rental and homeownership opportunities, 3) expanding access to opportunity and promoting mobility by leveraging the Assessment of Fair Housing process and other fair housing principles, and 4) increasing accessibility for vulnerable populations.
Additionally, in partnership with the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) and the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), the OCD will be increasing investments in traditionally underserved neighborhoods like the Lower 9th Ward.
Last year, the also City completed the Assessment of Fair Housing Plan, fulfilling its commitment to New Orleans residents and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to increase efforts to create equitable access to quality affordable housing for all New Orleanians. The awards complete the distribution of funds released by HUD in Fall 2016 and is a notable milestone in the City’s Housing for a Resilient New Orleans strategy.
“I am excited that we’ve completed this next step to preserve and increase affordable housing in New Orleans,” said Ellen Lee, Director of Housing Policy and Community Development. “We made a commitment to all New Orleanians that every citizen would have the opportunity to benefit from the growth our city is experiencing and that includes quality, affordable housing.”
“NORA is proud to serve as a partner in the critically important task of providing high quality, affordable rental and homeownership opportunities for citizens in neighborhoods across the city,” said Brenda Breaux, Executive Director of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority. “NORA has already transferred over 1,100 properties for the development of affordable homes and will continue to contribute land and development subsidy to help ensure the City reaches its affordable housing creation goals.”
“The Housing Authority of New Orleans is resolute in its commitment to leverage HANO resources in partnership with the City of New Orleans, NORA and other government agencies to address affordable housing needs for low-to-moderate income residents,” said HANO Executive Director Gregg Fortner. “HANO remains an active participant in the City’s commitment to reinvest in neighborhoods throughout New Orleans and to expand affordable housing resources through maximum utilization of all available assets.”