housing

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.

The Road Home program created after Hurricane Katrina is still causing paperwork headaches nine years after the storm.

The nearly $10 billion program was designed to help residents rebuild so they could return. But 32,000 people remain in legal limbo.

Last year the state sent almost 50,000 letters to homeowners demanding they repay some of their grants.

About 100 people attended a New Orleans City Council committee meeting this week, saying they are caught in a paperwork nightmare.

Every week WWNO's Listening Post project asks questions about local news in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and reports back on the community's response. This week's topic is the rising cost of housing.

Fair housing advocates in New Orleans are supporting legislation that would protect domestic violence victims from eviction. Apartment management groups want to make sure the rules are clear.

Eve Troeh / WWNO

About a year ago, Greg Thyssen and Shakti Belway bought an 1800's double shotgun in the Tremé neighborhood.

"I'm tall," Thyssen said, "so I love the high ceilings, a fireplace in every room, beautiful pocket doors."

Beauty, yes, but the house needed work. "The floors were eaten away by termites," Belway said, "and under layers and layers of linoleum."

In Mid-City, land trusts are expanding the range of affordable housing options.

“We’re walking up Jane Place, which is this two-block street, walking toward JPNSI Community Garden.”

JPNSI stands for Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative, and leading me up the street is Shana Griffin, one of JPNSI’s cofounders.

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