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American Can owners negotiate affordable housing extension for residents

Affordable housing still remains a rampant issue across the city

The American Can apartments is located on Orleans Avenue
Eric Craig, Curbed NOLA

On Wednesday, February 1, The Office of the Mayor announced that American Can residents have until October 31 to find new housing.

The agreement was reached between New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, American Can residents, City Councilmember Susan Guidry and Audubon Communities, the owner of the American Can Apartments. In the Agreement, the American Can owner will supply housing counselors to assist low-income residents in finding new affordable housing, according to an official press release.

At the end of 2016, the American Can apartment owner announced that its affordable housing tax credits granted by the city had expired. In result, the apartment owner planned to convert the subsidized housing properties to unsubsidized units.

Mayor Landrieu believed this negotiation is a monumental start for tackling the city’s affordable housing issue.

“This sets a high standard of practice that we would encourage other property owners to follow,” Mayor Landrieu said in a prepared statement.

“We are grateful to all parties for working constructively through this process. My Administration remains committed to working with all stakeholders to increase affordable housing in the City of New Orleans.”

Despite the agreement between the apartment owner, residents and the City of New Orleans, affordable housing may still be a major concern in the future.

In the Mayor’s five year strategy to address affordable housing, researchers estimate that over 1,200 affordable housing subsidies will expire by 2021, and over 4,900 by 2031.

"I'm happy that we were able to get more time to try and find an affordable place to live, but this one agreement isn’t a permanent solution to the housing crisis,” American resident, Annie Tucker, said in the official release.

In a recent national rent study conducted by Zumper, New Orleans ranked No. 15 in the nation for most expensive rent. From February 2016 to February 2017, the median rent for a one bedroom apartment in New Orleans increased from $1,050 to $1,430, which is roughly 14.4 percent.