New Orleans Needs Greater Collaboration to Address Affordable Housing Crisis

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New Orleans Needs Greater Collaboration to Address Affordable Housing Crisis

In the aftermath of Katrina, New Orleans and the State of Louisiana collaborated to take steps forward to increase access to affordable housing.

With an affordable housing crisis impacting families at all income levels in New Orleans and with looming cuts to community development funding from the federal government, we are faced with the prospect of the state (SB 162) limiting the strategic options available to address these issues.

While inclusionary zoning may or may not be the answer, we need all options on the table for a larger discourse to find solutions. One thing is certain, the issue of affordable housing is sure to grow in its intensity as many citizens in New Orleans are face with paying a significant amount of their income on housing cost.

Having an understanding of what affordable housing is and is not and whom it really affects in our city is critical for developing a collaborative path forward on the issue. The larger problem we face is that affordable housing is often an emotional issue on both sides of the coin in terms of those that support and those that are against it’s existence in the community.

For years, I’ve worked on strategies to bring together good jobs and affordable housing. SB 162 tells New Orleans to figure out housing on our own. Declining resources means it will be difficult to provide incentives for affordable housing and make headway. The same traditional play book will not get it done.

The lack of affordable housing hurts our community socially and economically. For a city working to compete in the global economy, it will need all its citizens contributing to that effort.

Locally, we will need to dig deep and re-examine our policy and budgeting approaches to address our social and economic challenges. More importantly, we prefer to do so with the state and federal governments choosing to align with us, not against us, in our efforts.”

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