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American Can Company is first of many NOLA affordable housing issues to come

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New Orleans will lose 4,900 affordable housing subsides by 2031

Last week several New Orleans residents residing in the American Can Company apartments were asked to leave the apartment at the end of 2016. Many of these individuals were in affordable housing units that will no longer be supported by the developer.

This, however, is only the iceberg of New Orleans affordable housing problem.

There are more than 50 units at the American Can Company priced for low and middle-income tenants, according to Gambit. The affordable housing units were a part of a deal between the city and the developers of the American Can company apartments. In this deal, The American Can Company would supply affordable housing in exchange for more than $40 million in public funds, tax credits, and grants to subsidize the construction of the apartments. Those tax credits expire in 2017.

The apartment’s original developer was Pres Kabacoff's HRI Properties, and the property was sold to Audubon Communities, ACV VII LLC, in 2013.

On last Thursday, The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center condemned Audubon Communities for sending the eviction notices and advocated that the developers cease desist the end-of-the-year evictions.

“The investment of public funds in this property included a promise to provide affordable apartments at the American Can,” said Cashauna Hill, Executive Director of GNOFHAC, in an official release.

“Audubon Communities should honor their promise to Louisiana taxpayers and cease these evictions. Further, these evictions disproportionately impact people with disabilities, families which children, and people of color, possibly in violation of the Fair Housing Act,” she added.

Over 1,200 affordable housing subsidies will expire by 2021, and over 4,900 by 2031, according to the office of the mayor.

A similar plan housing subsidy was recently approved for the Lafitte Greenway apartment complex development, developed by Edward Communities. In Mid-December, the Industrial Development Board gave the developer of the Mid-City apartment complex $6 million is tax breaks in exchange for supplying 14 affordable housing units. The tax breaks in that particular plan expire in 2025.

Last October, City Council commissioned a year-long survey to track how these incentives will effect affordable housing in New Orleans. This survey comes after the 2015-16 evaluation of Affordable housing in New Orleans, conducted by HousingNOLA, which ranked the city poorly for affordable rent options.

In December, the National Rent Report conducted by Zumper rated New Orleans as No. 14 for most expensive rent. The average cost of a one bedroom apartment, according to Zumper’s study, is $1,140.