Last night Mayor Mitch Landrieu gave his annual State of the City address, during which he unveiled a five-year affordable housing plan.
The goal of the plan is to "build or preserve" 7,500 affordable housing units by 2021—with 4,000 units available by 2018, followed by an additional 3,500 units.
Landrieu addressed New Orleans’ rising housing costs:
"People are flocking here, but rising demand and job growth means that housing costs have risen by 50 percent since 2000," Landrieu said in a statement. "Now, due to a broader loss of income-affordable rental units along with low-wage jobs and inadequate public transit, many New Orleanians pay more than 50 percent of their income just on housing costs. That is unacceptable and unsustainable. ... We must ensure that working people do not get priced out of New Orleans—they are the backbone of our City."
The plan aims to:
• Reserve city-owned property and other public land for affordable housing
• Increase the availability of "workforce housing" for service industry workers, artists, "culture bearers," educators, and public safety officers
• Push for changes to the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance to demand more affordable units in market-rate developments
• Ensure "long-term affordability" in units receiving federal subsidies
• Expand housing efforts to people in vulnerable populations, including those living with HIV/AIDS
The mayor also said the city will push for a rental registry, and mentioned the need to create policy to regulate short-term rentals, which may be contributing to the affordable housing crunch.
As Gambit’s report notes, Landrieu’s term is up in 2018—so much of this plan will be left up to his successor.
• Mayor Landrieu unveils five-year affordable housing plan [Gambit]
• New Orleans Home Prices Are Up 46 Percent Since Katrina [Curbed NOLA]
• Councilwoman Wants to Create a Rental Registry to Stop Slumlords [Curbed NOLA]
• Storystream: Short-Term Rentals in New Orleans [Curbed NOLA]