Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

New Orleans Works to Recover Affordable Housing

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

New Orleans Works to Recover Affordable Housing

Article excerpt

Looking out their tour bus windows, delegates attending a mobile workshop came across a bright and colorful array of tents pitched in front of City Hall in New Orleans. They hadn't stumbled upon a campsite. They were witnessing firsthand what some of the homeless have resorted to because of lack of affordable housing.

The homeless population has risen from approximately 6,300 to 12,000 in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, according to UNITY of Greater New Orleans, a group that helps the homeless. The "Housing the Homeless: Public-Private Partnerships for Affordable Housing" mobile workshop, which took place during NLC's Congress of Cities and Exposition last month, gave delegates a glimpse of how public and private partnerships are uniting to resuscitate low-income housing.

Of the more than 200,000 homes destroyed during Hurricane Katrina, approximately 41,000 were affordable rental units, according to estimates by PolicyLink, a national public policy organization. Anthony Faciane, deputy chief for development in New Orleans, led the mobile workshop group through flood-damaged neighborhoods to show delegates the progress of some of the city's affordable housing developments thus far.

Faciane pointed out several sites where major housing developments are under way or planned. Two of the sites--the Wisdom Manor complex under construction in the Hollygrove neighborhood and a row of townhomes developed by the Freedman Association in Gert Town--will be developments that target senior citizens and will have rent controls,

Though developments such as these are already in motion, the city has and continues to face challenges in rebuilding affordable housing. …

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