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Two Down, Four to Go: City Council Passes Policies to Slow Gentrification

Posted on 30. Oct, 2015 by

The New Orleans City Council made great strides in the past four months to pass two out of six policies to slow gentrification and protect long-term residents from displacement.

Still, there is far more to do as housing prices continue to rapidly increase. It will take a host of solutions to ensure the people who have made our city great for generations are not priced out.

Here are the four remaining ideas and the two that City Council already adopted.

Mazant_Royal

HANO’s Mazant-Royal property in the Bywater. Source: HANO

1. Make the best use of publicly owned properties in low-poverty neighborhoods.
With 3,000 city-owned lots up for auction and 233 HANO properties, we can do far more to hold some public land for affordable housing in quickly transitioning neighborhoods.

2. Ensure neighborhood investments promote equity rather than displacement.
Coupling neighborhood investments–like the $37 million spent in the Bywater and St. Roch–with affordable housing will help working families to stay and enjoy the newly added parks, transit, and other amenities.

3. 
Use zoning to incentivize affordability and integration.
On September 3rd, the City Council unanimously voted to expand incentives in our zoning code for developers who reserve some units for working families.

4. Use our housing trust fund for housing.
In October, the City Council also passed reforms to the Neighborhood Housing Improvement Fund (NHIF) to direct the $3 million/year fund to be used to offset our affordability crisis.

5. Implement property tax relief programs for lower-income homeowners.
Cities across the country are implementing targeted property tax freezes to protect long-term residents from losing their homes in rapidly changing neighborhoods.

Broadmoor_House_Fire

Deadly home fire in Broadmoor. Source: Nola.com

6. Hold rental housing to basic health and safety standards.
Thousands of units throughout the City have leaks, mold, and fire hazards. Tenants can either put up with it or move, but moving is often expensive.

 

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