housing

Jesse Hardman / Listening Post

A few months ago a housing notice went up on the local Craigslist page with the provocative headline: "3 bedroom, 900 square feet, God Damn, Someone Get Me Out Of New Orleans."  The author went on to write: "Once the city was built for people like me, times change, now it's built for you." 

This sentiment, that New Orleans is no longer affordable to longtime residents, has been getting louder lately.

Housing advocates have been holding an all-night vigil in front of offices of the Housing Authority of New Orleans. It’s designed to press the authority for more reforms than are planned for review later today.

Eve Abrams

The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center was established in 1995 to eradicate housing discrimination in the Greater New Orleans area through education, investigation and enforcement. The Center is dedicated to fighting housing discrimination not only because it is illegal, but also because it is a divisive force that perpetuates poverty, segregation, ignorance, fear and hatred.

Hurricane Katrina caused widespread devastation and loss of life, and many of those whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged fled New Orleans.

In the months that followed, many of the city's poorest families got even more bad news: The public housing units they called home would be knocked down, even if undamaged by the storm.

Many of the families that were forced out of public housing by Hurricane Katrina now use government vouchers to subsidize their rents elsewhere. That shift was supposed to help de-concentrate poverty in the New Orleans area, but it hasn't worked as planned.

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Transcript

There’s a battle going on in New Orleans-East and at the Louisiana Bond Commission, over acquisition of a 442-unit apartment complex known as Hidden Lakes. GMF -- Global Ministries Foundation, based in Memphis, Tennessee --is the buyer.

“We have almost 11-thousand units in eight states, as a faith-based housing development corporation,” GMF president Rev. Richard Hamlet told Louisiana’s Bond Commission last month.

Among those units are nearly 2500 apartments in Louisiana; in Lafayette, Lake Charles, and the greater New Orleans area. GMF is asking the bond commission to guarantee $24.5 million dollars so they can buy, renovate and run Hidden Lakes.  Area homeowner associations have been fighting it, because it’s Section 8 housing. State Sen. Edwin Murray has been facilitating meetings between homeowners’ associations and GMF property management, in an effort to resolve the impasse.

Housing advocates rally outside the federal building in New Orleans.
Eileen Fleming / WWNO

Housing activists are pressing the federal Housing and Urban Development department to help New Orleans residents return to homes that were damaged after Hurricane Katrina. They staged a protest at the federal building before dropping off a letter outlining their case.

As the 10-year anniversary approaches marking Hurricane Katrina, community experts are assessing the progress and challenges of recovery. Housing was one topic reviewed at a daylong forum at the University of New Orleans.

Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance

The Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance is a collaborative formed by the non-profit housing builders and community development corporations who are working diligently to rebuild the city of New Orleans.

“The Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance is a collaborative of non-profit, for-profit, builders and advocates of affordable housing here in the metro area,” says Andreanecia Morris. “We have been working together to create more affordable housing in New Orleans as we rebuild the city.”

HRI

Officials are gathering at the old Texaco building on Canal Street Thursday morning to mark its transformation from corporate to residential use. The 17-story tower is now a home for seniors on a low fixed incomes.

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