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New Orleans skylineThe Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center promotes inclusive City planning, policies and procedures to ensure fair housing choice,  advance zoning based on equitable access and opportunity, and increase the amount of housing stock accessible to all people, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, familial or marital status, or sexual orientation.

Transforming a Legacy: Proposals to Improve New Orleans Properties

The majority of New Orleans residents live in rental housing, making it the largest slice of our city’s housing stock.  Without taking on this subset of properties, we will never truly address neighborhood blight. If a community’s health, vitality, and prosperity can be measured by the condition of its properties, New Orleans may be poised to transform a legacy of substandard housing.

The City should regularly inspect rental units to ensure that owners maintain their properties in habitable, safe and healthy conditions.  A proactive process is more effective than a complaint-driven process that relies on the City’s Office of Code Enforcement to respond and minimal fee could provide funding and staffing for the program.

Assessing Neighborhood Opportunity: Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

In a country and a city where your zip code can matter far more than your genetic code in determining life expectancy, place too often determines equity, prosperity, and life outcomes. The Obama Administration released regulations for local governments that receive federal funds to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing (AFFH), or to accurately assess neighborhood opportunity as required by the Fair Housing Act.

New Orleans will be part of the first group of cities in the nation to submit an Assessment of Fair Housing under this new guidance and will have an opportunity to be a model for the country. The new process provides valuable data and analysis to help policy makers understand demographic trends, where segregation and concentrated poverty persists, and how we can topple these barriers.

Read more about Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing by clicking on supporting documents in the right-hand column.

Slowing Gentrification and Preventing Displacement

Housing prices in New Orleans are increasing rapidly, threatening to price out many long-term residents who have made this city great for generations. There is no single policy solution to this problem, but the City and other public entities like the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) should use all the tools in the toolbox to ensure that everyone has a safe and affordable place to live. These tools include:

  • Making the best use of publicly owned properties in low-poverty neighborhoods.
  • Ensuring neighborhood investments promote equity rather than displacement.
  • Using zoning to incentivize affordability and integration.
  • Doubling the housing trust fund and using it for housing.
  • Implementing property tax relief programs for lower-income homeowners at risk of displacement.
  • Hold rental housing to basic health and safety standards.

Learn more about each of these policies here.

Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (New Orleans Master Plan)

City policies, regulations, and land use decisions should promote fair housing choice and advance the ability of all New Orleanians to live in neighborhoods of opportunity.

The City’s recently updated Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) includes significant steps toward these goals, including market-based incentives for developers to create housing for working families. Still, the City Planning Commission and City Council should embrace a full range of zoning policies to deepen this commitment to an integrated city based on choice and opportunity.