Vandals broke in repeatedly and a fire broke out last July. A few weeks ago, brick was removed from the structures that collapsed on Wednesday.
Despite spending millions to tear down public housing complexes and to implement a voucher program that would end the concentration of poor households, a Housing Authority of New Orleans official admitted Monday that the agency doesn’t analyze voucher use to determine whether new pockets of poverty may be forming elsewhere.
The federal government gave New Orleans more than $6.5 million to build or repair affordable housing last year, resulting in 63 rental rehabs and 150 blighted property renovations, according to the draft of a federal report released for public review this week. Another 81 blighted properties were expropriated using the federal grant money, according to the Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Draft Report released for public review Monday.
Just a couple weeks ago, affordable-housing proponents had little hope that developments to replace the public-housing complexes torn down after the levee failures would materialize. A damning federal assessment of the Housing Authority of New Orleans stated that, “Two of HANO’s Big Four the former Lafitte and B.W. Cooper projects mixed-income deals are in jeopardy.
Fair housing non-profit executive James Perry’s underdog bid for mayor of New Orleans has garnered significant fanfare in the media that may not manifest itself as voters at the polls on Election Day. When Perry launched his campaign a year ago, it was uncertain that he’d make it this far, considering his youth and his lack of personal wealth, name recognition and political experience.
Much of the plight of affordable housing in New Orleans and around the state lies in the hands of the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency, which helps provide financing to build housing for low-income households. The Lens caught up with LHFA President Milton Bailey today to collect his thoughts on the challenges of creating affordable housing at a time when more people need it and fewer can afford to build it.