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Renters become homeless amid Coronavirus pandemic as HANO delayed paperwork

Posted: 3/24/2020 | NOLA.com
Shanbriel Williams was determined to use this year's tax refund for a new apartment, one with more space for her growing children. By mid-January, she had found a rental less than a mile from the Popeyes franchise in Algiers, where she works in the kitchen. She told her son, Markhi, 7, and her daughter, Caylie, 4, whose faces lit up at the idea, and submitted an application to the Housing Authority of New Orleans, which helps her pay rent through Section 8.

Coronavirus Impact: HANO puts evictions on hold for 45 days, limits inspections

Posted: 3/23/2020 | WDSU
The Housing Authority of New Orleans has placed a 45-day emergency moratorium on evictions and lease terminations for its public housing and rental voucher tenants because of the new coronavirus. Officials said they will evaluate whether more time is needed at the end of the moratorium. In the meantime, HANO has limited access to its offices and curtailed its in-person property inspections and compliance interviews for public housing and voucher tenants. The only exceptions being made are for initial inspections before tenants move in to a unit, inspections of properties placed under abatement and emergency inspections.

Most renters won't receive protections under Trump proposal

Posted: 3/20/2020 | New Orleans City Business
Most Americans who rent their home, many of whom have lost their jobs in the sudden economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak, will not be eligible for eviction protections, despite what President Donald Trump said this week. Under the Department of Housing and Urban Development's plan released Wednesday, foreclosures and evictions would stop for 60 days on single-family homes with loans through the Federal Housing Administration. That would apply to roughly 8 million units, according to HUD. Only FHA homes lived in for at least a year can be rented out.

New Orleans courts suspend residential evictions in response to coronavirus outbreak

Posted: 3/16/2020 | The Lens Nola
On Friday, New Orleans joined a growing number of cities across the country in suspending residential evictions in light of the coronavirus pandemic. According to a court order from the Orleans Parish Civil District Court, the city's eviction courts will not be hearing any eviction cases until April 24. The First and Second City Courts were scheduled to hear 106 eviction cases between now and March 30. As the novel coronavirus has spread rapidly, housing justice groups and politicians, including Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, have called loudly for cities to take actions to suspend evictions and utility shut offs. The New Orleans Sewage and Water Board announced yesterday that it would suspend service shut offs as long as an emergency declaration by Mayor LaToya Cantrell remains in effect.

Leona Tate, developers break ground on new civil rights center in old McDonogh 19 Building

Posted: 3/11/2020 | NOLA.com
In November 1960, 6-year-old Leona Tate walked up the front steps of the all-white McDonogh 19 Elementary School in the Lower 9th Ward and helped to desegregate New Orleans' public schools, while racist crowds jeered at her from St. Claude Avenue. Since Hurricane Katrina, however, the building where that historic act happened has been shuttered - dark and lifeless save for some stray pigeons.

Inside plans to 'turbocharge' New Orleans' riverfront: New parks, hotels, housing, more underway

Posted: 3/2/2020 | NOLA.com
The biggest transformation of New Orleans' historic riverfront in more than 30 years is underway - with plans to build new parks, hotels, housing and businesses in various stages of development. Public entities are driving many of the changes planned along the nearly five-mile stretch of riverfront from Poland Avenue to Jackson Avenue, although several major projects have languished or suffered lengthy delays under Mayor LaToya Cantrell. Sprinkled among the taxpayer-financed plans are a handful of major private developments that are in some cases subsidized by taxpayers.

Major mixed-income development coming to Treme, Lafitte Greenway

Posted: 2/28/2020 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — A major $31 million development is coming to the Lafitte Greenway in Treme. New Orleans officials said 76 mixed-income housing units are set to be built on the site where a grocery store was once located. The development, City Square 162, could take up to two years to complete. Check out the video for more information.

New Orleans officials break ground on affordable housing at old Winn Dixie site in Treme

Posted: 2/28/2020 | NOLA.com
The St. Louis Street complex, the former site of a Winn-Dixie grocery, will feature 76 one- and two-bedroom units when it is completed in mid-2021. Thirty units will be available to families who qualify for public housing assistance or Section 8 vouchers, while the remaining 46 will be rented at market rates. HANO, the city's chief provider of subsidized housing, has been working for years to turn its traditional housing developments for poor residents into communities for residents of all incomes, thereby breaking up concentrated pockets of poverty. Iberville was the last complex to be redeveloped.

Former Winn-Dixie site being converted to apartments

Posted: 2/28/2020 | City Business
Construction has begun on an apartment complex on property that housed a Winn-Dixie in Tremè. The $31 million City Square 162 community will include 76 one- and two-bedroom units, which will encompass 15 public housing and 15 Section 8-assisted apartments subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The remaining 46 apartments will be rented at market rate, a news release said.

Family searches for answers 5 years after HANO officer's death

Posted: 2/14/2020 | Fox-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - For one Kenner mother, the pain of losing her son, shot in the line of duty, is just as real today, as the day it happened five years ago. Through her pain, she's formed an unbreakable bond with someone very close to the case, a bond she says has helped her to survive.

Administration proposes to cut HUD budget by $8.6 billion

Posted: 2/11/2020 | Affordable Housing Finance
The Trump administration has again released a budget proposal that cuts funding for longtime public housing and community development programs. The fiscal 2021 plan requests $47.9 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), $8.6 billion less than the enacted level for this year. Under the proposal, the HOME and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs would be eliminated.

Forward New Orleans releases progress report on 2018 municipal elections platform

Posted: 2/11/2020 | Louisiana Weekly
On January 29, Forward New Orleans (FNO) released its first progress report on the city government's progress in meeting the goals of FNO's 2018 Municipal Elections Platform. "We commend the city and its many partners for accomplishing significant progress in many platform areas so far. But serious issues remain," the report stated in its introduction. The report noted the New Orleans Police Department's (NOPD) failure to meet its target of 50 net additional officers in 2019. The NOPD added 109 new officers in 2019, but lost 100. In 2020, they expect 120 new recruits. The report also conceded this is a nationwide problem for police departments.

City gets additional funding to replace housing in Iberville/Tremé

Posted: 2/3/2020 | New Orleans City Business
The Housing Authority of New Orleans and the city have received a $4 million federal grant to continue developing housing in the Iberville/Tremé community. A news release said the funding is through the Choice Neighborhoods Supplemental Grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “This $4 million supplemental grant provides us with an opportunity to expand upon the success of HUD’s CNI Program which continues to be instrumental in providing hundreds of new housing units in the Tremé community,” said HANO Executive Director Evette Hester. “We are excited to gain access to this additional funding to build upon the $208 million CNI investment in our city and continue transformation of the historic Tremé neighborhood.”

Residents Of New Orleans Neighborhood Deemed 'Cancer Alley' Say They Were Duped Into Buying Housing Atop Toxic Landfill

Posted: 12/13/2019 | Blavity News
Black homeowners living in the Desire area of New Orleans are dying at alarming rates from cancer and other illnesses due to the contaminated soil beneath their houses. Jesse Perkins and dozens of other families have told The Guardian that they have complained for decades about illnesses killing local residents who were duped by the government into buying houses on the site, which used to be the home of Agriculture Street landfill.

City Announces Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Planning Process, asks for Community Input

Posted: 12/12/2019 | Office of Mayor LaToya Cantrell
NEW ORLEANS — In January 2020, the City of New Orleans will begin a year-long process to update its hazard mitigation plan, which details the risks faced by the region —both man-made and naturally occurring — and outlines risk reduction strategies to save lives, reduce property damage, and lessen the impact of future disasters. The plan helps guide the City and its partners to implement these strategies throughout New Orleans in the near term.

'We’re just waiting to die': the black residents living on top of a toxic landfill site

Posted: 12/11/2019 | The Guardian
In 1988, Jesse Perkins was 27 years old and trying to get his piece of the American dream. With savings from his job at New Orleans’ sewage and water board, he purchased his first home in Gordon Plaza, a newly built subdivision in the city’s Desire neighborhood. The modest single-family home was one of dozens developed by the city’s housing authority, built with the help of federal funds, and marketed as affordable housing to African Americans starting to rise into the city’s middle class.

The 'Secret Sauce' in Community Transformation

Posted: 11/22/2019 | US News & World Report
IT SOUNDS LIKE THE start of a bad joke: A billionaire, a city official and a resident get together in Atlanta. Their goal? Transform one of the city's worst housing projects into a neighborhood where people actually want to live. More than two decades later, the community formerly known as East Lake Meadows is touted as an urban success story – an attractive, safe neighborhood with high-quality homes and educational offerings. Its supporters also call it a clear demonstration of the link between quality housing and public health.

Former Iberville housing complex reimagined as new community: 'It changed for the better'

Posted: 11/14/2019 | NOLA.com
Cody Marshall remembers when the bulldozers first showed up to tear down the sprawling barracks-style housing development he'd lived in his whole life. It was 2013, and the Iberville development, which stretched for blocks on the lake side of the French Quarter, was the last of the city's original public housing complexes still standing. Now, six years later, Marshall is back living in a redeveloped neighborhood that he helped design. Gone are the Iberville's rundown red brick buildings, barren courtyards and concrete stoops. In their place are colorful townhomes, coffee shops and freshly paved streets.

Photos: Residents and officials celebrated the completion of the Bienville Basin community

Posted: 11/14/2019 | NOLA.com
Residents and officials celebrated the completion of the Bienville Basin community opened at the site of the former Iberville Public Housing Development in New Orleans, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019.

WDSU Investigates: Tenants fight back against problem New Orleans apartment complex

Posted: 11/13/2019 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — Problems at the Laguna Run apartment complex in New Orleans East that are impacting the health and safety of its residents are also affecting the staff responsible for maintaining the property. WDSU Investigates learned through public records about issues involving black mold, faulty plumbing and broken appliances at Laguna Run. Inspection records from public housing agencies show several failed inspections this year at that complex and four other sites in New Orleans under the same ownership.

Will Sutton: Everyone deserves affordable housing. Even if we help our neighbors with exemptions.

Posted: 11/12/2019 | NOLA.com
How can so many people be for New Orleans, and then against it? Nearly everybody visiting New Orleans from across the state, the nation and the world has a good time. They enjoy the food, music and culture. They might not want to live there, but they surely enjoy visiting. Many of these visitors are Louisiana citizens. I'm sure they favor affordable housing. The National Low Income Housing Coalition shared a poll earlier this year that shows that 85% of Americans believe ensuring everyone has a safe, decent, affordable place to live should be a “top national priority.” The Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance has said about 33,600 affordable housing units are needed to address the city’s needs. We’re nowhere close to that. That’s why I was happy to see city officials seeking authorization to do something about this problem. I figured it would be a slam dunk. I was wrong.

Rehabilitation of New Orleans School Into Artist Housing Honored by ACHP and HUD With Historic Preservation Award

Posted: 11/7/2019 | Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
WASHINGTON, D.C.– The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) announced Bell Artspace in New Orleans’ Tremé–America’s oldest African American neighborhood–as the recipient of the 2019 ACHP/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation.

Our Views: New Orleans voters should approve these three bottom-line measures

Posted: 11/7/2019 | The Advocate
On Nov. 16, New Orleans residents will have a chance to vote on three ballot questions affecting the city’s bottom line. Here are The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate’s recommendations: This measure would allow the city to issue up to $500 million in new capital improvement bonds to be supported by existing taxes. The bonds would provide $250 million for street and drainage improvements, $225 for public facilities and public safety equipment and $25 million for affordable housing, according to a non-binding spending plan.

WDSU Investigates: Public agencies have long known about problem apartment complexes

Posted: 11/6/2019 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — Residents at apartment complexes in New Orleans East say their living conditions are making them sick. Some tenants claim they were evicted after they asked their property manager for help. Inspections records WDSU Investigates obtained from government housing agencies show that problems at these complexes have been documented for months, but little has been done to hold the owner or property manager accountable.

City celebrates opening of renovated $52.5 million Booker T. Washington school building

Posted: 10/30/2019 | The Advocate
Fifteen years after the historic Booker T. Washington High School building in Central City closed its doors, hundreds gathered in the school's gymnasium Tuesday to celebrate its $52.5 million rebirth. Mayor LaToya Cantrell, state officials and members of the school's large alumni association were among those who came to see the restored campus at Earhart Boulevard and South Roman Street. "Young people, make no mistake — this was done for you," Cantrell said to students who had gathered in the bleachers. The 198,870-square-foot facility opened at the beginning of this school year with 52 classrooms, seven science labs and rooms for art, dance and band. The school also has a media center, a weight room and an outdoor courtyard for events.

How do you define affordable housing in New Orleans?

Posted: 10/22/2019 | WDSU
How do you define affordable housing? That's one question on a survey that HousingNOLA asks New Orleans residents to answer. The advocacy group wants to update its results from a poll conducted two years ago. Executive Director Andreanecia Morris said the organization continue to push for more affordable homes in New Orleans. "Housing costs have just spiraled out of control," she said. HousingNOLA released its report card on affordable housing in September and gave the city a "D." One reason is because studies showed New Orleans lost more affordable housing than it gained. "In the last five years alone, we've seen a 50,000 increase on home values and rent has gone up 10 percent over the same time period. Meanwhile, wages have remained the same," Morris said. Morris said those who can't afford to live in the city are the same people who make New Orleans so great, and if they get pushed out, it would be a problem.

New Orleans' best bet to reduce youth crime? Invest in programs that alleviate trauma, study says

Posted: 10/21/2019 | NOLA.com
New Orleans has long sought to remedy juvenile delinquency through punishments designed to show children that bad actions have consequences. But if the city helped to alleviate the trauma that can cause children to misbehave, it could make greater strides in its battle to reduce crime. That's the gist of a lengthy report just released by a panel commissioned by the City Council to study the effects of childhood trauma and recommend ways to address it.

Orleans school board approves facility plan

Posted: 10/17/2019 | The Lens
The Orleans Parish School Board unanimously approved a facility plan Thursday night that recommends selling or trading away seven buildings the all-charter NOLA Public Schools district owns but no longer needs. Board attorney Sharonda Williams introduced the item “as a blueprint for the ongoing management of district-owned property.” Using newly established guidelines, such as a desired minimum site size of 3.5 acres, the district evaluated its property and the administration presented a plan for 26 properties, some of which have schools on them. The recommendations came after a series of community meetings in September.

Nola Public Schools wants to sell off or trade vacant school buildings; See which ones

Posted: 10/16/2019 | NOLA.com
Constructed more than a century ago, the Israel M. Augustine Middle School building in Mid-City was designed with a certain flair: arched windows and ornate marble work done in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. The once-grand building now sits vacant on South Broad Street, crumbling in disrepair. Visible cracks splinter its peach facade and signature staircase, and security shutters on the windows hide exposed rafters, sinking floors and caving walls.

What New Orleans can teach other cities about reducing homelessness

Posted: 10/15/2019 | PewTrusts.org
NEW ORLEANS — In the shadow of the Superdome — the epicenter of Hurricane Katrina’s horrors — Will Vanslaughter zips in and out of traffic, scrubbing windshields, charming drivers, armed with a squeegee, a water bottle and a smile. “A lot of people think we’re bums,” said Vanslaughter, 46, who recently landed an apartment with the help of a local nonprofit after living under a bridge for three years. “But I don’t come out here to get money for drugs. I come out here to feed myself. This is how I survive.”

Voters reject Amendment 4, aimed at New Orleans affordable housing

Posted: 10/14/2019 | WDSU
BATON ROUGE, La. - Louisiana voters flatly denied New Orleans the right to shield small apartment buildings from property taxes. Amendment 4 on Saturday’s ballot would have given the city power to trim, freeze or eliminate the assessed value for developments with 15 units or less. Proponents hoped the tax break would fuel affordable housing investment. Opponents prevailed with nearly two-thirds of the vote

Louisiana rejects amendment for affordable New Orleans housing

Posted: 10/14/2019 | WWL-TV
NEW ORLEANS — Voters decided four proposals to change the Louisiana Constitution. They rejected Amendment 1, which would have created a property tax exemption for certain raw materials and other maintenance items headed for oil and gas drilling work in the Gulf of Mexico's Outer Continental Shelf. They supported Amendment 2 to broaden how money from a state education fund can be used, allowing spending on three additional schools and educational programming from Louisiana Public Broadcasting.

Mayor Cantrell Issues Statement on Amendment #4

Posted: 10/14/2019 | Office of Mayor LaToya Cantrell
NEW ORLEANS — Mayor LaToya Cantrell today issued a statement on New Orleans Affordable Housing Constitutional Amendment #4 (or Amendment #4), which was on the ballot this Saturday: "We knew the odds that we would face with Constitutional Amendment #4 on the ballot, but it was more than worth the effort. This is not a loss. “The most important aspect and what I loved most was building bipartisan support across the state and New Orleans," said

Biz New Orleans Magazine October 2019

Posted: 10/10/2019 | Biz New Orleans
Read Biz New Orleans Magazine's October 2019 Digital Edition

New Orleans Affordable Housing Constitutional Amendment Receives Endorsements Heading Into Saturday's Vote

Posted: 10/10/2019 | Office of Mayor LaToya Cantrell
Americans who labor long and hard to buy a home are thought to be living the American Dream. But first-time homebuyers, who bought homes in Gordon Plaza, in the upper ninth ward of New Orleans, are living in an American Nightmare. Their homes were built on top of the Agriculture Street Landfill, which was used as the city’s dumpsite. The impact of living on a toxic waste dump is on display at the Newcomb Art Museum on Tulane University’s campus. Visitors to the museum’s recently opened exhibition: The American Dream Denied, can feel the devastation and experience the plight of the Gordon Plaza homeowners as they fight for justice and relocation funds. “Their fight for relocation is urgent and ongoing. The most recent report from the Louisiana Tumor Registry found that cancer rates between 2001- 2015 within the census tract that includes Gordon Plaza had the second-highest sustained rates of cancer in the state of Louisiana,” exhibition documents show. The exhibition, which opened last week, will run through December 14, 2019.

Gordon Plaza residents continue to fight for relocation

Posted: 10/7/2019 | Louisiana Weekly
Americans who labor long and hard to buy a home are thought to be living the American Dream. But first-time homebuyers, who bought homes in Gordon Plaza, in the upper ninth ward of New Orleans, are living in an American Nightmare. Their homes were built on top of the Agriculture Street Landfill, which was used as the city’s dumpsite. The impact of living on a toxic waste dump is on display at the Newcomb Art Museum on Tulane University’s campus. Visitors to the museum’s recently opened exhibition: The American Dream Denied, can feel the devastation and experience the plight of the Gordon Plaza homeowners as they fight for justice and relocation funds. “Their fight for relocation is urgent and ongoing. The most recent report from the Louisiana Tumor Registry found that cancer rates between 2001- 2015 within the census tract that includes Gordon Plaza had the second-highest sustained rates of cancer in the state of Louisiana,” exhibition documents show. The exhibition, which opened last week, will run through December 14, 2019.

Report gives New Orleans a ‘D’ grade for affordable housing

Posted: 10/7/2019 | Louisiana Weekly
On September 30, HousingNOLA unveiled its annual report card on the state of affordable housing in New Orleans at the Love Your City Hour event at the Carver Theater. The report card’s D grade showed the organization feels the city has not yet made enough progress to help longtime residents find affordable housing. “While a ‘D’ is technically a passing grade, let’s be clear, we are failing when it comes to affordable housing in this city,” said Andreanecia Morris, executive director of HousingNOLA. “For the second year in a row, New Orleans ultimately lost more affordable opportunities than it created. This is damaging our city and reinforcing our inequities.”

New Orleans receives ‘D’ rating for creating affordable housing options

Posted: 10/2/2019 | Fox-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -With almost a perpetual "now hiring" sign in the window, CFO of Juan’s Burrito, David Greengold says he's seen his restaurant change over the years. “We’ve been here since 2002 and before Katrina my entire staff lived in a 4 block radius, now that's not the case at all,” he said. “Lots of people are coming from New Orleans East and the west bank, and that’s a long way to go.”

HANO turns to outside firm for property inspection

Posted: 10/1/2019 | WWL Radio
HANO, Housing Authority of New Orleans has signed McCright and Associates of Tennessee to inspect privately owned properties that are part of the Section 8, Housing Choice Voucher Program. McCright will ensure the properties are in good condition and meet HANO's standards before Section-8 Housing tenants move in. The company will also perform annual inspections as well. HANO is bringing in McCright to end the lag time between initial inspections and occupancy. The Times-Picayune/Advocate reports HANO nine staff inspectors will lose their jobs, but will be invited to apply for new jobs with McCright. HANO handles the inspections for more than 17,000 properties participating in its Section-8 voucher program.

New Orleans gets "D" in effort to provide affordable housing, advocacy group says

Posted: 10/1/2019 | NOLA.com
Despite efforts aimed at creating more affordable housing, New Orleans again saw a decline in access to such homes in the past year, according to a new report that suggests the city is still far from slowing a longtime rise in housing costs. The housing advocacy group HousingNOLA said the city had a net loss of 183 affordable-housing opportunities between September 2018 and August. Subsidies from city and state agencies created 304 new affordable opportunities and developers built eight affordable homes without subsidies, the report said. But those weren't enough to make up for a loss of 495 affordable units.

Man fights housing officer, gets shocked with a stun gun: Video

Posted: 9/30/2019 | New York Post
A New Orleans man pummeled a city housing cop — whose partner stood nearby and watched, shocking video shows. The footage, which appeared on social media earlier this week, shows a man repeatedly punching an unidentified Housing Authority of New Orleans officer on the ground as the uniformed official struggles to get back on his feet. The housing officer nearly gets upright again before he’s sent back to the sidewalk for a second time, as the man decked him in the face once more, all while his partner stood several feet away, video shows. “Don’t f—king play with me!” the man shouts before shoving the housing cop away. “Go ahead!”

LHC partners with City of New Orleans for vital affordable housing projects

Posted: 9/30/2019 | Louisiana Housing Corp. Blog
The city of New Orleans is moving forward with $28 million in vital affordable housing development projects with financing through the Louisiana Housing Corporation. The projects, funded through a combination of federal grant dollars and affordable housing tax credits, will create 642 residences to help meet a critical need for workforce housing in New Orleans. “Creating and sustaining affordable housing is an existential crisis that our city is facing,” New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell says. “My administration and I have worked for months to foster this partnership with LHC to secure this funding for the city and that the funding would go toward impactful and sustainable housing initiatives.”

On Politics: HANO chief lauds those who have been with him, jabs those who have been against him

Posted: 9/30/2019 | NOLA.com
As he prepared to exit his office for the final time, outgoing Housing Authority of New Orleans Executive Director Gregg Fortner heaped some praise on his staff — and some scorn on his critics. He also revealed the depth of his frustrations leading the agency. Fortner said in February he would resign in July because of criticism that has persisted about HANO despite work he has done to scrub its image. He later agreed to stick around until his successor, Evette Hester, started work on Oct. 1.

HUD awards $1.2M to help families reach self-sufficiency

Posted: 9/27/2019 | HUD
WASHINGTON - In a continuing effort to help get public housing residents on the road to self-sufficiency, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson today awarded an additional $1.2 million to new participating public housing authorities across the country. This funding will build on the $74 million HUD awarded earlier this year to continue helping public housing residents participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Program and/or reside in public housing to increase their earned income and reduce their dependency on public assistance and rental subsidies. To expand the impact of the Family Self Sufficiency program, this is the first time since 2012 that new public housing authorities have been awarded funding. See chart below.

Video shows man fighting with HANO officer before being shocked, arrested

Posted: 9/27/2019 | WWL-TV
NEW ORLEANS — A video showing a man beating up a Housing Authority of New Orleans Police Officer last week has been viewed nearly half-a-million times on Facebook. It captures a fight in the 4th Ward, at the corner of Crozat and Bienville Streets, between 41-year-old Darrell Bush and a Housing Authority of New Orleans Police Officer. The officer is visibly punched in the face multiple times and then pushed to the ground, as another HANO officer stands by and watches.

Black mold plagues New Orleans East apartment complex

Posted: 9/27/2019 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — Several tenants at Laguna Run Apartments in New Orleans East say the poor living conditions are making them sick. Black mold, leaky ceilings and feces can be seen on their bathroom floors from overflowing toilets in several videos and pictures submitted to WDSU. We spoke to Angela Woodson, a tenant who has filed a civil lawsuit against the previous owners of the complex, Dasman Residential. Since the lawsuit was filed, her attorney Suzette Bagneris says Laguna’s ownership has changed twice. RH Cooper Creek/RH Services, is also named in the lawsuit.

Video shows man fighting with HANO Officer before being shocked with stun gun, arrested

Posted: 9/27/2019 | NOLA.com
A 41-year-old Algiers man allegedly beat a Housing Authority of New Orleans police officer before the officer used a stun gun to subdue him, according to court records. The violent Sept. 17 clash pitting Darrell Bush against the unidentified HANO officer was captured on a cellphone video that circulated on Facebook this week. The footage shows Bush knocking an officer to the ground – along with his radio and handcuffs – and beating him while the officer’s partner paces idly nearby.

Our Views: Approve amendments on tax law, housing incentives

Posted: 9/24/2019 | The Advocate
We continue to present our views on constitutional amendments before the voters Oct. 12. Amendment 1: Offshore services property tax — For Louisiana businesses support a vast offshore oil and gas business that is vital to the nation and the world, and most of that energy production is in federal waters of the Outer Continental Shelf. For decades, goods destined for offshore rigs were assumed to be in interstate commerce and not subject to property taxes while stored in Louisiana’s coastal parishes.

Louisiana Constitutional Amendment 4: Affordable Housing

Posted: 9/20/2019 | Big Easy Magazine
This October, people across Louisiana will have the power to help ease the affordable housing crisis in New Orleans. The Louisiana New Orleans Affordable Housing Property Tax Exemption Amendment on the ballot would allow the City of New Orleans to (a) exempt a portion of a property’s assessed value, (b) exempt the full assessed value of a property, or (c) keep assessed values at the level for the year prior to the exemption going into effect. In addition, this measure prevents properties used as short-term rentals (STRs) from receiving the exemption. Loss of revenue caused by exemptions authorized by this amendment can not result in a taxing authority raising or imposing additional taxes on taxpayers who are not covered by the exemption, and any exemption granted under the amendment cannot be the cause of a property value reassessment.

Could lower property taxes help New Orleans' affordable housing crisis?

Posted: 9/19/2019 | WDSU
New Orleans wants voters statewide to say yes to proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 4, which seeks to exempt a portion of assessed values of properties in order to promote affordable housing. Short-term rental properties would not qualify for the exemption status. The proposal also says if there is a decrease in taxes the taxing authority cannot increase or impose additional taxes on taxpayers.

Proposed constitutional amendment could help New Orleans increase affordable housing

Posted: 9/19/2019 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - City leaders say New Orleans has an affordable housing problem and a proposed constitutional amendment on the October 12 ballot could help the city address the problem. The measure to be voted on by voters across the state would allow the city to create tax incentives for more affordable housing. John Pourciau, chief of staff for Mayor Latoya Cantrell’s administration, said the effects of not having enough affordable housing are many. "Constitutional Amendment number four allows the city to provide exemptions and abatements for affordable housing,” said Pourciau. “Affordability is an issue in the city that affects all us, and it affects us from those folks who are first time homeowners, those folks who’ve lived in houses for a while that they own and also for renters.”

Ending Fair Housing Rule removes opportunities for all

Posted: 9/17/2019 | Louisiana Weekly
Like most people, I care about my community, its opportunities, and its future. But as a man of faith, I believe I am additionally called to give voice and support to lift every life. From counseling congregants on ways to find hope, I am keenly aware of many who see none at all, despite the heralded claims that the nation’s economy is flourishing. Of all the issues confronting Americans, none is more basic than that of housing. Whether renting or owning a home, every family needs a place to come home to at the end of the day. It is where our children are raised, meals are prepared, and family milestone moments are celebrated. It is also true that everyday Americans are now struggling to keep and/or find homes they can afford. As housing prices rise faster than incomes, an increasing number of people grapple with challenges of how hard it is to keep their loved ones safe.

Political Insider: Cantrell pitches affordable housing plan around the state

Posted: 9/16/2019 | NOLA.com
Mayor LaToya Cantrell took her push for more affordable housing in New Orleans on the road last week. Hoping to convince voters statewide to back an October ballot issue that would let New Orleans freeze property taxes for certain residents, Cantrell traveled around the state Wednesday through Friday to meet with leaders in various parishes about the city's goals. She spoke with the mayors of Baton Rouge, Bossier City, Shreveport, Alexandria and Lake Charles, and joined Gov. John Bel Edwards to address the Natchitoches Parish Voters League, according to officials with Action New Orleans, a political action committee launched to support Cantrell's initiatives.

House passes $300M bill requiring carbon monoxide detectors in public housing

Posted: 9/10/2019 | NBC News
The House passed a bill Tuesday requiring carbon monoxide detectors in public housing, after more than a dozen tenants died from the gas in the last 16 years. “It will prevent tragic and completely needless deaths,” said Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García, D-Ill., the lead sponsor of the bill, which provides about $300 million over three years to install carbon monoxide detectors in federally subsidized housing for poor families. "This is a bill that will save lives and help make us all safer,” Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, said. A similar proposal has been introduced in the Senate.

NOLA Public Schools holding four community meetings on plans for school buildings, district properties

Posted: 9/10/2019 | The Lens
The NOLA Public Schools district will host a series of community meetings focusing on the condition of its school buildings according to a release from the district. The district will also present preliminary plans for its so-called “surplus properties,” which can include vacant buildings and land as well as buildings the district plans to vacate. The meetings are part of developing what the district has called its Unified Facility Plan, which has been in the works since state-run Recovery School District charter schools returned to Orleans Parish School Board oversight in 2018. Though the RSD no longer oversees any charter schools in the city, it still runs a handful of construction projects.

Will tiny homes help solve affordable housing crisis in New Orleans?

Posted: 9/5/2019 | WDSU.com
New Orleans city leaders continue to work to find ways to end the affordable housing crisis. Councilwoman Kristin Palmer is considering tiny homes as a possible solution. "When we’re talking about a city that’s unaffordable, it’s unaffordable for fireman to buy a home, for police, for people who work at City Hall. You know, it’s unaffordable for public school teachers to buy a home," Palmer said. She met with a man who owns a tiny home. Michael Burnside lives on Felicity Street. He built his home four years ago, spending $16,000 for the total cost.

Next Arena for Criminal Justice Reform: A Roof Over Our Heads

Posted: 9/4/2019 | NYTimes.com
NEW ORLEANS — When Thad Tatum was released from a Louisiana prison after serving 28 years for armed robbery and the attempted murder of a police officer, he found his trials were far from over. Mr. Tatum, who has used a wheelchair since he was stabbed at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, has had to prove he could make it on the outside. He graduated from a program to help people with disabilities learn to live alone and met with a case manager for three months before he received a Section 8 voucher from the Housing Authority of New Orleans.

How New Orleans Helps Ex-Inmates Find Housing

Posted: 9/4/2019 | TheCrimeReport.org
Former inmates often struggle to find a place to live. Public housing authorities and private landlords may refuse to rent to them, labeling them public safety risks, sending them to the streets, to homelessness, and often back to prison for offenses like sleeping in public spaces and panhandling. Three years ago, New Orleans’ housing agency, acting on guidance from the Obama administration, made a change, the New York Times reports. The Department of Housing and Urban Development notified housing agencies and owners of federally assisted housing they could not use arrest records in admissions decisions. “The opportunity to secure an affordable, decent place to live is part of an effective second chance,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro, now a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell calls for a study of 'tiny houses,' other affordable housing strategies

Posted: 8/23/2019 | NOLA.com
Mayor LaToya Cantrell has asked the City Planning Commission to suggest ways to create more affordable housing in New Orleans, a month after the city snagged $28 million in federal grants for that purpose. Cantrell is interested in whether "tiny houses" can work in New Orleans, whether the city should ban converting residential buildings to commercial, and how it can best encourage the redevelopment of vacant property.

HANO staffers moving too slowly to inspect Section 8 housing; outside firm could be hired

Posted: 8/14/2019 | NOLA.com
The team that is supposed to inspect thousands of subsidized housing units in New Orleans is falling short of its performance goals, and public housing officials are at odds on how to solve the problem. The Housing Authority of New Orleans’ staff is inspecting an average of 96 private properties per day that receive public subsidies under the federal housing voucher program,

Sacred Heart Affordable Housing Apartments In New Orleans Earns Enterprise Green Communities Certification

Posted: 8/9/2019 | Yahoo Money
NEW ORLEANS, LA / ACCESSWIRE / August 9, 2019 / Sacred Heart, a near century old church converted into an affordable housing development, adds Green Communities Certification to its list of noteworthy achievements. SK Collaborative was hired as a sustainability consultant to certify the exemplary 53-unit project that houses low and moderate income families in New Orleans and is managed by Columbia Residential.

Cantrell discusses future of affordable housing in New Orleans

Posted: 8/7/2019 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The mayor’s office kicked off an affordable housing tour Wednesday (Aug. 7), as part of an effort to engage the community in the conversation towards more affordable housing in the city. This, after residents across the city have spoken up after seeing higher home assessments, prompting worry over a sharp increase in property taxes that some say, they cannot afford.

Mayor Cantrell launches affordable housing tour

Posted: 8/7/2019 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The tour will consist of community meetings across the area to talk about making affordable housing more available. The mayor says the project expects to have $600 million to work along with 642 new affordable housing spaces that will become available for residents. She says they are also working to give more opportunities through the homeless initiative.

Mother with full-time job says she can't afford rent in New Orleans, now lives in hotel room

Posted: 8/7/2019 | WWLTV
NEW ORLEANS — Sharon Denson calls a small motel room in New Orleans East her home. “It’s going on three weeks and I’m low on funds,” Denson said. Denson is also a single mother and works a full-time job.Those dollars, she says, aren’t enough to pay rent in New Orleans. “The rent is ridiculously high. I don’t have enough to pay $1,100 to $1,200. I’m not looking for a handout from the government. I’m just tired of working so hard and I can’t get nowhere," Denson said. "All I need is a helping hand!”

New Orleans Mayor sets new priorities for affordable housing

Posted: 8/7/2019 | WDSU
Mayor LaToya Cantrell will begin an affordable housing tour in New Orleans Wednesday through seven neighborhoods. Cantrell said she will highlight plans to spend $24 million in Community Block Grants from the state to create new low-rent options for residents. The new funding is budgeted to create 642 new rentals, including the construction of large-scale affordable housing developments. Cantrell said the shortage of affordable housing in felt across the city.

To make wealthier New Orleans neighborhoods more diverse, HANO OKs Touro land swap

Posted: 7/31/2019 | NOLA.com
In a boost for plans by housing officials to make wealthier neighborhoods of the city more diverse, the board that governs the Housing Authority of New Orleans on Tuesday endorsed a controversial land swap with the Orleans Parish School Board. Seven of the HANO board's eight members voted to seek federal approval of the swap, under which HANO will trade vacant land near its Marrero Commons development in Central City for the OPSB’s historic McDonogh No. 7 building in the Touro neighborhood.

Beyond 'fair share' deal, city and S&WB still need millions to pay for critical repairs

Posted: 7/23/2019 | The Lens
Mayor LaToya Cantrell's hard-fought "fair share" infrastructure deal could provide more than $20 million a year for the struggling Sewerage and Water Board over the next decade. But that doesn't come close to meeting the $3 billion in funding required by the Sewerage and Water Board's 10-Year Capital Improvement Plan.

Council raises concerns about accountability, affordable housing funds as it starts process to bring short-term rental tax to a public vote

Posted: 7/22/2019 | Louisiana Weekly
The New Orleans City Council on Thursday took the initial step to set up a citywide vote on a new short-term rental tax. The potential tax is part of a broader infrastructure deal that was brokered by Mayor LaToya Cantrell's administration, Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration and the tourism industry during the legislative session that ended in June. The deal included Act 169, which allows the council to levy a tax of up to 6.75 percent on short-term rentals, but only if New Orleans residents vote in favor of it. Last Thursday's motion was only passed to give public notice that on Aug. 8, the council will vote on the language of the ballot measure. If that also passes, the vote will be set for Nov. 16.

Our Views: In choosing new leader, Housing Authority of New Orleans wants us to just trust them

Posted: 7/3/2019 | The Advocate
Evette Hester may well be the best candidate to take over as executive director of the Housing Authority of New Orleans. But public housing residents will apparently have to take the HANO board’s word for it, at least until she’s officially hired. HANO’s board is taking the highly unusual step of shielding its selection process — right down to the identities and resumes of the other applicants — until it completes negotiations to bring Hester, a veteran housing official who now heads the Montgomery, Alabama Housing Authority, on board. This is despite a state law that clearly says that such information should be available to the public.

Housing advocates: Lower property taxes could spur affordable housing growth

Posted: 7/2/2019 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The increasing cost of housing in New Orleans -- both rented and owned -- is no small concern for people needing affordable housing, and those advocating on their behalf say freezing or reducing property taxes for some landlords and homeowners could help the growing crisis.

Drew Brees' latest gift to New Orleans? Saints QB donates $250K to help build school in Gentilly

Posted: 7/1/2019 | NOLA.com
Drew Brees needed New Orleans and New Orleans needed him. He says he knew it before he ever put on his black and gold No. 9 jersey for the first time. Brees realized it when he first visited New Orleans, months after Hurricane Katrina had wrecked the city. Despite all the damage he saw, Brees, decided to sign with the Saints. He wanted to give the city two things. A championship. And hope. He checked the first one off the list in his fourth season with a victory in Super Bowl 44. The second one has been ongoing; one of his most recent endeavors came to fruition in March. Brees donated $250,000 to help build KIPP Believe, a school at Columbia Parc in Gentilly for kindergarten through eighth-grade students.

Alabama housing official tapped to lead Housing Authority of New Orleans

Posted: 6/25/2019 | NOLA.com
Evette Hester, the head of the Montgomery, Alabama, public housing agency, was named Tuesday as executive director of the Housing Authority of New Orleans, assuming a job of considerable importance as New Orleans continues to grapple with a shortage of affordable housing. Hester, 54, will replace Gregg Fortner, whose contract was due to expire in July. The HANO board voted unanimously Tuesday to extend Fortner's contract for up to three months and to enter negotiations with Hester.

This Alabama housing official is top choice for New Orleans housing authority director job

Posted: 6/22/2019 | NOLA.com
After a selection process that took place almost entirely behind closed doors, the head of the Montgomery, Alabama, Housing Authority has emerged as the top choice for executive director of the Housing Authority of New Orleans. Evette Hester, 54, is the lone remaining finalist among 11 candidates the board vetted for the chance to succeed Gregg Fortner, board members said Saturday. It’s unclear who else applied for the job, however. Citing federal rules, the board has refused to provide the resumés, or even the names, of the 10 other applicants, including a second finalist who withdrew and two semifinalists.
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Cafe Du Monde server killed in Central City 'worked her life' for three-year-old daughter, aunt says

Posted: 6/16/2019 | The Advocate
Macy Skipper, a 24-year-old woman killed Saturday night in Central City, was a young mother who “worked her life” for her 3-year-old daughter, a great-aunt said Sunday. After numerous social media posts in memory of Skipper went up Sunday morning, her great-aunt, Michele Jordan, confirmed that Skipper was the woman killed in a double shooting about 8 p.m. Saturday in the 2800 block of Magnolia Street.
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1 woman killed, 1 woman injured in Central City on Saturday night: NOPD

Posted: 6/15/2019 | NOLA.com
A 25-year-old woman was shot and killed in Central City on Saturday night (June 15), according to the New Orleans Police Department, while a 27-year-old woman was injured in the shooting. Both women were transported to University Medical Center, which is where the 25-year-old died, according to NOPD spokesman Gary Scheets.
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Two Uptown buildings on Landmarks Society’s list of the city’s most endangered

Posted: 6/14/2019 | Uptown Messenger
The Louisiana Landmarks Society, which promotes historic preservation through education, advocacy and operation of the Pitot House, has announced the sites selected for its 2019 New Orleans’ Nine Most Endangered list. Two Uptown buildings were listed on Louisiana Landmarks Society’s list: the McDonogh 7 building on 1111 Milan St. and a three-story Greek Revival building near the Lower Garden District at riverfront 425 Celeste St.
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Stephanie Grace: LaToya Cantrell goes to Baton Rouge -- and brings home the bacon to New Orleans

Posted: 6/14/2019 | The Advocate
Her predecessor, Mitch Landrieu, spent more than two decades working in Baton Rouge, first as a state legislator and then as lieutenant governor. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell came up a different way, as a community organizer and later member of the City Council. So when Cantrell laid out an ambitious agenda for her first full legislative session in office, there was reason to wonder just how much she’d end up having to show for it.
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Louisiana Senate sends New Orleans housing tax relief to voters

Posted: 6/13/2019 | Next City
New Orleans is poised to break new ground in Louisiana legislative history. Mayor LaToya Cantrell and the city’s state representatives pushed hard for a pair of bills, Senate Bills 79 and 80, that would provide tax relief to low-income homeowners and, in a twist, also to landlords of multi-family dwellings with up to 15 units. The goal is to lower housing costs for both homeowners and renters in a city where housing costs spiked in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
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Mayor marks end of legislation session, thanks New Orleans delegation for their success

Posted: 6/10/2019 | City of New Orleans
Mayor LaToya Cantrell today released the following statement, thanking the members of the New Orleans legislative delegation for their hard work during the session and applauding their success: "On behalf of the people of New Orleans, and our entire region, I congratulate the members of our delegation on a successful session at the legislature
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New Orleans home builder helps fill the 'American Dream' gap

Posted: 6/3/2019 | New Orleans City Business
New Orleans has seen a rapid gentrification of its formerly working-class neighborhoods in the last five years, prompting prices to soar and making it difficult for many to continue living in the city’s core areas. While many New Orleanians are considered low wealth (the net worth of a household), many homeownership programs for low-to-moderate wage earners rely only on income status for qualifying and don’t take into account low wealth.
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Former dumpsite eyed for school athletic field is under state environmental review

Posted: 5/31/2019 | The Lens
The Orleans Parish school district wants to swap a 19th-century Uptown school for land atop the 19th-century Silver City Dump to convert to athletic fields — but the district doesn’t know the extent of soil remediation that has occurred at the former landfill. The land that the school district wants is on Earhart Boulevard adjacent to Booker T. Washington High School, which is being rebuilt.
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OPSB moving ahead with McDonogh 7 land swap for former dumpsite

Posted: 5/29/2019 | Louisiana Weekly
The Orleans Parish School Board is ready to move forward with its plans to trade the historic McDonogh No. 7 school for land atop the former Silver City dump for use as high school athletic fields. At a committee meeting Tuesday, district Executive Director of Capital Planning Sue Robertson said only two New Orleans charter schools had expressed interest in the roughly 140-year-old school, and neither wanted to buy or lease it, freeing up the district to dispose of it.
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Better transportation options could help transform housing, too

Posted: 5/29/2019 | NOLA.com
The Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance and HousingNOLA, as members of the New Orleans Complete Streets Coalition, support the coalition’s goal to improve the safety and accessibility of walking, biking and other modes of transportation in the city of New Orleans. We know the Complete Streets policy will improve the health and economic equity of every New Orleans neighborhood and improve the lives of every New Orleanian.
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Memorial Day weekend officer's murder remains unsolved four years later

Posted: 5/28/2019 | WGNO
As we all pause to remember our troops who have made the ultimate sacrifice, CrimeStoppers is also hoping people will remember a police officer who was shot and killed during the Memorial Day weekend. On May 24, 2015 -- during the Memorial Day holiday weekend -- Housing Authority of New Orleans police officer James Bennett was patrolling a construction site on Erato Street in Central City. The NOPD says someone shot Bennett while he was inside his car.
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City Council approves controversial plan for Bywater affordable housing

Posted: 5/23/2019 | NOLA.com
The New Orleans City Council voted unanimously Thursday (May 23) to allow a controversial apartment complex to move forward in the Bywater neighborhood, an area where single-family homes are predominant. The zoning change proposed for 4100 Royal Street was controversial for its affordable housing component as well as for its density. Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer sought to find a middle ground to appease housing advocates and neighbors, many of whom consider a large apartment building out of character with the neighborhood.
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Bywater affordable housing development takes a big step forward

Posted: 5/23/2019 | The Lens
On Thursday, the New Orleans City Council approved a zoning change that would allow the Housing Authority of New Orleans to move forward with a housing development in Bywater that would provide 82 affordable housing units. The proposed four-story building would take up an entire city block bordered by Chartres Street, France Avenue, Mazant Street, and Royal Street. The land is owned by HANO, but the development would be constructed and managed by ITEX Group, a Houston-based private development firm.
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After compromise, New Orleans City Council approves Bywater affordable housing deal

Posted: 5/23/2019 | The Advocate
In a win for advocates of affordable housing, the New Orleans City Council on Thursday approved plans for a mixed-income housing development in Bywater that would bring 82 affordable units to the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. The council's unanimous vote approved a zoning change that will allow the Housing Authority of New Orleans to build a mixed-income development at a site it owns on Royal Street.
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Residents concerned as City Council to take up zoning change for Bywater housing complex

Posted: 5/23/2019 | FOX-8 Live
Joe Brown moved to the Bywater years ago, and has seen the land around him change. Much like the affordable housing unit that used to sit across the road from him until the Housing Authority of New Orleans tore it down. That’s why with the possibility of another affordable housing project, Brown says he’s simply opposed to the size of it.
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Controversial Bywater development could see compromise

Posted: 5/23/2019 | NOLA.com
New Orleans City Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer said Wednesday (May 22) she is close to brokering a compromise over a controversial affordable housing development in the Bywater. The proposal has pitted a neighborhood organization against the developer and a housing advocacy group.
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Late compromise on Bywater affordable housing complex could ease road; fewer units among changes

Posted: 5/23/19 | The Advocate
Thanks to a down-to-the-wire deal, plans for a $26 million mixed-income development in Bywater could have an easier time clearing the New Orleans City Council on Thursday. Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer said late Wednesday she has reached a compromise with the Housing Authority of New Orleans and plans to support that agency’s project.
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Orleans School Board moving ahead with McDonogh 7 land swap for former dumpsite

Posted: 5/22/2019 | The Lens
The Orleans Parish School Board is ready to move forward with its plans to trade the historic McDonogh No. 7 school for land atop the former Silver City dump for use as high school athletic fields. At a committee meeting Tuesday, district Executive Director of Capital Planning Sue Robertson said only two New Orleans charter schools had expressed interest in the roughly 140-year-old school, and neither wanted to buy or lease it, freeing up the district to dispose of it.
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New Orleans City Council to consider $26M affordable housing development in Bywater

Posted: 5/22/2019 | The Advocate
In a vote that could support or disrupt efforts to build affordable housing in one of the city's most sought-after neighborhoods, the New Orleans City Council on Thursday will consider a $26 million mixed-income development proposed in Bywater, a neighborhood that some say has become ground zero for gentrification in the city.
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Residents beg city for voice in affordable housing plan

Posted: 5/22/2019 | WDSU
Beneath Adinas Perkins’ roof is a home full of uncertainty. “Before Katrina this is not a city like it is today,” Perkins said. Living with a disability and a fixed income, she spends $850 a month for a home in Hollygrove. “I lived in this neighborhood since 1993 and before Katrina the rent was 400, 350 a month. It is estimated that the city needs 33,000 affordable homes over the next decade, but despite commitments from the city and state, only 2,200 have been completed.
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Opinion: Massive Bywater public housing proposal would be a big step backwards

Posted: 5/22/2019 | The Lens
Like most attractive cities, New Orleans badly needs affordable housing. It needs affordable housing that will enable residents — newcomers and old-timers alike, regardless of income level — to interact easily and amicably. This calls for a scale and density that integrates public housing with the broader neighborhood.
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Short-term rental backers warn Mayor Cantrell new rules could cut tax revenue

Posted: 5/16/2019 | NOLA.com
Two short-term rental companies are warning Mayor LaToya Cantrell that a deal to direct more tourism tax money to city infrastructure could fall well short of promised amounts if new regulations are adopted. Their notice comes a day before the New Orleans City Council considers sweeping changes to short-term rental rules.
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Exclusive negotiations surrounding Federal City site redevelopment begin; here are next steps

Posted: 5/15/2019 | The Advocate
The Algiers Development District board of commissioners said Tuesday it has started talks with two companies about redeveloping 20 acres on its 200-acre Federal City site, the former naval base that has a history of failed efforts with private developers. The board said it had entered into exclusive negotiations with two property groups — B-T+MSG and the Finch Group — about their proposals to build a mixed-use commercial and housing development, a project that will cost "well over $100 million," according to state Sen. Troy Carter, the board's chairman.
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New Orleans leads U.S. cities in falling apartment rents, report says

Posted: 5/13/2019 | NOLA.com
Average rent in New Orleans fell in 2018 and the city saw the largest dip in rates for one- and two-bedroom apartments among major U.S. cities, according to a new online analysis. The analysis by Rent.com, an online marketplace that matches people with apartments, found renters in New Orleans paid $1,418 on average for a one-bedroom unit in December 2018. The city saw the sharpest decrease in one-bedroom rent in the nation, down 11.4 percent from the year before. Similarly, rent for local two-bedroom units fell at a nation-leading pace.
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State House passes 3 bills to advance New Orleans infrastructure deal

Posted: 5/8/19 | The Advocate
A multi-sided deal crafted by Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Gov. John Bel Edwards and the New Orleans hospitality industry to help solve the city's road and drainage woes easily cleared a key hurdle in Baton Rouge on Wednesday. The state House passed three bills that would implement the agreement, thanks to a united Orleans Parish delegation and the support of Cantrell, Edwards and hospitality leaders.
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Cantrell administration predicting increase in short-term rental sales

Posted: 5/6/2019 | Louisiana Weekly
Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s administration has been busy in Baton Rouge trying to strike a deal to divert more hotel/motel tax revenue to infrastructure projects in New Orleans. A potential deal is still being fleshed out, but it will likely include a package of legislation that includes House Bill 43, which would raise taxes on Airbnbs and other short-term rentals by 6.75 percent, pending a vote by city residents.
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Housing advocates say new tourism-drainage deal takes money from affordable housing

Posted: 5/6/2019 | WWLTV
In Central City, Jose Rodriguez and his little pup are finally making themselves at home. “I was lucky to find this place,” Rodriguez said. When he moved to New Orleans from Miami five months ago, Rodriguez had trouble finding a place to stay. He says rent is just too high. “Especially when they want first month, last month and security. It’s hard,” Rodriguez said. He’s now living in a building where he says his landlord will transform it into a boarding house for low income renters. The news comes as a tearful relief for Rodriguez. “Almost every month, I was thinking I was gonna end up on the street because I couldn’t afford the rent. But, god has blessed me. Many times I thought I’d be alone with my little dog on the street because I didn’t have enough for rent. But I’m okay now," Rodriguez said.
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Waters Releases Draft of Housing is Infrastructure Bill

Posted: 5/2/2019 | AHF
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has released draft legislation, Housing is Infrastructure Act of 2019, that calls for major investment in public and affordable housing. Chair of the Housing Financial Services Committee, Waters also recently held a hearing to assess the infrastructure needs of the nation’s housing stock. “Congress must recognize that our nation’s infrastructure extends beyond making investments in our roads, bridges, ports, and airports,” she said at the hearing. “It also includes our nation’s affordable housing.”
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New Orleans tourism and infrastructure deal back in negotiations after tumultuous 24 hours

Posted: 5/2/2019 | NOLA.com
A deal to raise hotel taxes to help fund infrastructure repairs in New Orleans saw a tumultuous 24 hours, with Mayor LaToya Cantrell agreeing to the plan Tuesday before abruptly withdrawing her support that night and leaving lawmakers working to get the agreement back on track Wednesday. The rapid swings in the prospects for the agreement left representatives of the city, the tourism industry and Gov. John Bel Edwards’ office without a final proposal Wednesday evening, though more talks were planned into the night.
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New Orleans needs a stronger, not a weaker Community Reinvestment Act

Posted: 4/30/2019 | Next City
The first time Andreanecia Morris remembers learning about the Community Reinvestment Act was at the Housing Authority of New Orleans, where she started her career in the mid-1990s. During her time there, the authority created its Section 8 Homeownership program, which allows families with rental assistance vouchers to convert them into mortgage assistance payments instead. But the housing authority still needed to convince banks to create a mortgage product that would be compatible with the Section 8 Homeownership program. It was the Community Reinvestment Act that brought banks to the table.
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In an effort to create more affordable housing, New Orleans property tax relief bill clears Senate committee

Posted: 4/30/2019 | The Advocate
In a boost to efforts to create more affordable housing in New Orleans, a Louisiana Senate committee on Monday cleared a ballot issue that could bring some tax relief to the city’s homeowners. The Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee sent the measure to the full Senate without opposition. If it makes it all the way through the Legislature, Louisiana's voters would be asked to consider the idea in October. The proposal, backed by Mayor LaToya Cantrell, would let New Orleans offer tax freezes, exemptions or other relief on local property taxes to longtime and first-time homeowners.
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New Orleans' affordable housing crisis by the numbers

Posted: 4/30/2019 | Big Easy Magazine
It’s no secret that New Orleans has an affordable housing crisis. On Monday, a report released by HousingNOLA illustrates just how concerning the situation is. According to the semi-annual report, New Orleans needs to create 33,593 affordable housing opportunities by 2025 in order to serve the needs of residents. In 2015, city and state housing agencies pledged to create 7,500 opportunities within five years – or 1,500 per year.
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Applications Open for New Veterans Housing Complex off Broad Street

Posted: 4/30/2019 | NOLA.com
The application process is open for the new $7.4 million affordable housing development being built behind The Broad Theater on Broad Street. SBP, the developer behind the project, is accepting applications for all 50 apartments, which are a mix of one- and two-bedroom layouts, spokesman Andy Stofleth said. The project is designed for military veterans and seniors, but low- and moderate-income families are also encouraged to apply, Stofleth said.
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Affordable housing vs. neighborhood preservation: Bywater housing project raises question

Posted: 4/23/2019 | Fox-8 Live
Affordable housing versus neighborhood preservation -- that’s the debate at the center of a potential $30 million affordable housing development project in the Bywater. Right now, before the City Council is a proposed zoning change between Charters, Royal and France street that would allow developers to build a $30 million affordable housing project. But feelings on the potential site and development are split.
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New Orleans Adopts a Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning Law

Posted: 4/23/2019 | Next City
Late last month, the New Orleans City Council unanimously approved an inclusionary zoning policy requiring that developers provide some affordable units in the city’s strongest housing markets. In “core” neighborhoods like the French Quarter and the Central Business District, developments must include 10 percent affordable units, and “strong” neighborhoods like Tremé, Bywater, and the Lower Garden District must set aside five percent of the units in a multifamily project. In “transitional” neighborhoods, developers would be incentivized but not required to build affordable units. Under the new law, the reduced-rate units would need to be affordable for residents earning up to 60 percent of the median income, and affordability restrictions would last for 99 years.
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Rats, leaks, urine: Life in New Orleans low-rent housing

Posted: 4/9/2019 | WWLTV
One tenant catches rats in spring-loaded traps. Another tries to open her oven door — and it comes off in her hands. So goes another day at Peace Lake Towers. The complex in east New Orleans is one of 19 Louisiana sites that failed health and safety inspections in 2018 alone, according to an Associated Press review of federal housing data nationwide. Since 1999, 12% of Louisiana inspections ended in failing scores — the worst rate in the country, a January data release shows.
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Plan for Leona Tate center in historic New Orleans school building gets nod; here's what's next

Posted: 4/9/2019 | The Advocate
An Orleans Parish School Board committee voted Tuesday to move forward with plans to convert the historic McDonogh No. 19 School building in the Lower 9th Ward into an educational center and civil rights museum as envisioned by the nonprofit Leona Tate Foundation for Change. The foundation wants to convert the space into an interpretive center that teaches visitors about the historic day in 1960 when the 6-year-old Tate was among the first black students to integrate all-white schools in New Orleans.
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KIPP Believe moves into new $23.5 million campus near Gentilly

Posted: 4/4/2019 | NOLA.com
KIPP New Orleans Schools Wednesday (April 3) officially opened its new school building near Gentilly for the 680 kindergarten through 8th grade students of KIPP Believe. The school’s new building, where classes officially began on March 11, is located at 3815 St. Bernard Ave. It has room for 756 students within its 42 classrooms, cafeteria, playground, band room, art room and science labs, according to officials from the nonprofit Bayou District Foundation.
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Historian: New Orleans' swap of school building for field can't offset decades of racial discrimination

Posted: 4/3/2019 | The Advocate
The Orleans Parish School Board and the Housing Authority of New Orleans are reportedly exploring a land swap that would provide the new Booker T. Washington High School with a football field and Uptown with additional mixed-income housing. That’s a practical response to multiple community needs.
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Mayor Cantrell Signs Ordinance for Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning for Affordable Housing Policy Passed by City Council

Posted: 3/29/2019 | City of New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS – Mayor LaToya Cantrell today signed the ordinance passed by the City Councll that calls for inclusionary zoning for affordable housing. The Administration and sponsoring Councilmembers Jay H. Banks (District B), Cyndi Nguyen (District E), Kristin Gisleson Palmer (District C) and Council President Jason Williams passed the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance that, if fully implemented, would mandate 10 percent of affordable housing units in new or rehabilitated housing construction over 10 units in the city’s downtown core and a 5 percent affordable housing requirement in areas adjacent to downtown.
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Affordable housing in New Orleans: New zoning regulations coming to CBD, French Quarter, more

Posted: 3/28/2019 | The Advocate
After almost three years of debate, a unanimous New Orleans City Council passed new zoning regulations Thursday aimed at addressing a citywide shortage of affordable housing. Under the rules, which some housing advocates said do not go far enough, developers in the Central Business District, French Quarter and a few other in-demand neighborhoods will be required to build lower-cost apartments as part of any new large multifamily residential buildings.
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1 in 4 renters evicted in black neighborhoods: Study finds alarming eviction rates in New Orleans

Posted: 3/23/2019 | WWLTV
NEW ORLEANS — Rising rents, low wages, a system that is heavily-tilted toward landlords and the enduring effects of redlining have helped lead to a high rate of evictions in New Orleans – one that is nearly twice the national average, according to a new study conducted by Loyola University’s College of Law. “We really want to show that this is a community problem,” Davida Finger, Professor at Loyola Law School said.
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HANO prepares to start hunt for new leader ahead of Fortner's July departure

Posted: 3/23/2019 | The Advocate
The board that governs the Housing Authority of New Orleans heard from residents Friday about qualities they want in the agency's next leader. The board wants to hire Gregg Fortner's successor by this summer. Fortner, 61, announced his planned July departure earlier this year, citing differences with the board and what he said were misperceptions about the agency.
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In New Orleans, a school building for a sports field? Booker T. Washington, McDonough No. 7 trade in works

Posted: 3/24/2019 | The Advocate
For 12 years, Orleans Parish public school officials have been trying to figure out how to secure a sports field for the new Booker T. Washington High School on Earhart Boulevard. Now, it appears the Housing Authority of New Orleans may be ready to make a deal for a nearly $2.9 million vacant field that abuts the campus.
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Renovation to turn former Pierre Capdua School building into senior housing slated to begin in May

Posted: 3/24/2019 | Gentilly Messenger
The former Pierre A. Capdau School at 3821 Franklin Ave. has completed all zoning and city review processes to become housing for low-income seniors. Construction of the 80-unit development will begin this year, and will include a renovation of the grounds as well as construction of a new building to maximize housing units. The units will be reserved for seniors age 62 and older, with a cap of two residents per unit.
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Bywater Development Would Create Affordable Housing, But Raises Questions

Posted: 3/21/2019 | WWNO
The Housing Authority of New Orleans is proposing a new affordable housing project on land it owns in the Bywater. The development would have 150 units, 90 of which would be rented at affordable prices. A Texas-based real estate company called ITEX would build and manage the new property in return for subsidies and tax credits.
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Orleans school district wants to shift $10 million from facilities to academics, requiring change to state law

Posted: 3/9/2019 | The Lens
The Orleans Parish School Board’s legal committee on Tuesday took no stance on the district’s request to redirect $10 milion from a fund used for facility repairs to academics. The move would require a change to a 2014 law that dedicates the money solely for school facilities. Their decision came after two former district facility department employees criticized the district’s proposal, citing the need to keep post-Katrina facility investments and repairs working well.
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Bywater real estate growth moves investors elsewhere

Posted: 3/18/2019 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Local realtors say developers now are showing more interest in the Ninth Ward because it’s become less expensive than the Bywater and Maringy Neighborhoods. “Yeah, the price is like really high. They've been skyrocketing for a while now,” said Realtor Samantha Andrus. “So actually, we don't see that changing. They're steadily going up." Residents in those neighborhoods have also taken notice.
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Bywater Complex with 150 units gets City Planning Commission backing

Posted: 3/13/2019 | NOLA.com
The City Planning Commission backed a proposal Tuesday (March 12) for a five-story, mixed-use development in the Bywater with 150 housing units, 90 of which would be affordable. Other features include a business center, playground and dog park. The proposal now heads to the New Orleans City Council for final consideration.
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U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy, John Kennedy will meet with HUD Secretary Ben Carson this week to press 'duplication of benefits' issue

Posted: 3/12/2019 | The Advocate
Louisiana's U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy will meet with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Secretary Ben Carson later this week to discuss HUD’s inaction on what's become known as the "duplication of benefits" trap that is blocking federal aid from reaching thousands of flood victims in Louisiana.
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Housing Authority approves new mixed-income developments in these New Orleans neighborhoods

Posted: 3/8/2019 | The Advocate
Properties in Algiers, the Upper 9th Ward and Uptown will be turned into mixed-income housing under proposals recently approved by the Housing Authority of New Orleans. The agency's board last week endorsed the planned revamps of the former Christopher Park Homes on Vespasian Boulevard and Murl Street in Algiers, and the last piece of the rehabilitation of the former Florida housing project in the Upper 9th Ward.
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Which New Orleans neighborhoods could support affordable housing mandate? Not many...

Posted: 2/27/2019 | The Advocate
Forcing developers to add lower-cost apartments to their residential projects would be difficult to implement outside of New Orleans' most sought-after neighborhoods, and it likely would create only a few dozen lower-priced units per year, according to a study presented Tuesday to the City Council.
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How New Orleans reduced its homeless population by 90 percent

Posted: 2/20/2019 | WWNO
Across the U.S., more than a half million people have been identified as homeless. New Orleans faced a major crisis in homelessness following Hurricane Katrina. In 2007, two years after the storm, there were more than 11,600 homeless people in the city. Since then, New Orleans stepped up its effort to tackle homelessness and has brought that number down 90 percent.
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Plans to transform former Winn-Dixie site in Treme into apartments gets boost

Posted: 2/18/2019 | The Advocate
The Housing Authority of New Orleans' ongoing effort to replace the affordable housing units lost when the Iberville public housing project was torn down has received a boost in the form of a tax break. McCormack Baron Salazar, the St. Louis-based development firm that has partnered with the authority to turn the site of an old Winn-Dixie
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Apartment complex rising on old Winn-Dixie site in Treme

Posted: 2/14/2019 | NOLA.com
A new apartment complex with affordable units is planned where the former Winn Dixie once stood on St. Louis Street near Basin Street in Treme. It’s part a push to add more housing stock to the neighborhood after the Iberville housing project was closed after Hurricane Katrina. Developers, working with the Housing Authority of New Orleans, are poised to break ground on a $23.2 million
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HANO chief Gregg Fortner to leave post in July; cites differences with board, 'negative perceptions'

Posted: 2/11/2019 | The Advocate
Gregg Fortner, who in 2014 became New Orleans' first locally appointed public housing director in a dozen years, will leave the Housing Authority of New Orleans in July despite recent indications that the agency had begun to turn a corner. Friday's announcement came five months before Fortner's contract expires July 7
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Public park or housing? Treme neighbors, city differ over plans

Posted: 2/7/2019 | NOLA.com
A long-vacant plot of land straddling the Treme and 7th Ward neighborhoods in New Orleans has become a focal point of tension between nearby residents’ desire for a park and the city, which is backing a housing development with affordable units. Neighbors and supporting local groups say they want a community park
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Reforms to HANO's Section 8 program still running into challenges, but officials remain hopeful

Posted: 2/6/2019 | The Advocate
Kawana Jasper, who receives a housing voucher from the Housing Authority of New Orleans' Section 8 program, considered signing up for a new initiative aimed at letting her move into a higher-income neighborhood. But the Pontchartrain Park resident hesitated, not because she couldn't afford the new digs, but because she was worried
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HUD releases 2018 year in review highlighting accomplishments under Secretary Carson

Posted: 2/4/2019 | HUD Press Release
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its 2018 Year in Review outlining the major accomplishments of the agency under Secretary Ben Carson. “Over the past year, the Trump Administration has continued to deliver on its promise to create greater economic opportunity for low-income families and encourage reinvestment in underserved communities,” Secretary Carson said. “HUD is advancing its mission by providing sustainable homeownership opportunities, removing barriers to revitalization and affordable housing, and helping communities impacted by natural disasters rebuild, among other efforts. I look forward to continue building on the successes of the past year and opening more pathways to self-sufficiency for HUD-assisted families.”
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HANO considering new proposals for affordable housing in Algiers, Upper 9th Ward, more

Posted: 1/26/2019 | The Advocate
Two large former public housing sites in Algiers and the Upper 9th Ward would become mixed-income developments under proposals the Housing Authority of New Orleans is considering. Also under review are plans to revamp abandoned individual properties Uptown as new homes for sale and rent. Both proposals are part of HANO’s long-range strategy to avoid a concentration of poverty by turning former housing projects into developments offering both cheaper and market-rate units.
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Trump, Congressional leaders reach deal to end shutdown

Posted: 1/25/2019 | The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - Congressional leaders and President Donald Trump have reached a deal to temporarily reopen the government and continue talks on Trump’s demand for border wall money, Capitol Hill officials said Friday. The president confirmed the agreement speaking outside The White House later Friday (Jan. 25).
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Thousands of Louisiana Residents in Section 8 housing, USDA rental programs could be at risk of eviction as government shutdown continues

Posted: 1/25/2019 | FOX-8 Live
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Officials are preparing for the worst. Housing assistance funds are dwindling as Democrats and Republicans refuse to budge from their opposing stances on funding President Donald Trump’s border wall. The longest government shutdown in history threatens to leave Louisiana’s at-risk residents scrambling to scrape together money for rent normally paid for by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
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New Orleans steps carefully toward affordable housing requirements

Posted: 1/25/2019 | NOLA.com
New Orleans City Council members agree that renting or buying a home in the city has become too expensive for low- and moderate-income residents, and that there isn’t enough affordable housing stock to meet the demand. But when it comes to whether the city should require affordable housing when new development is proposed, the council has yet to find common ground. But they moved closer to a decision on the policy, known as inclusionary zoning, in a procedural vote Thursday (Jan. 24)
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Rental Assistance concerns grow as government shutdown continues; officials unable to speak on impact to Louisiana

Posted: 1/9/2019 | FOX-8 Live
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Calls to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) New Orleans Field Office are being met with a brief automated message as of late. “HUD is closed. Please call back when the government is open again," the recording says. The message could be of concern to some Americans. As a stalemate continues between President Donald Trump, who demands the government provision $5 billion for his administration’s efforts to build a border wall between the United States and Mexico, and congressional Democrats who continue to strongly oppose the effort, Americans served by HUD will potentially bear the brunt of the consequences.
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Government shutdown pushes Battle of New Orleans commemoration from Chalmette Battleground

Posted: 1/9/2019 | The Advocate
Because of a lack of government funding, the cannon blasts from the Battle of New Orleans will be staged this year next to a Walmart Supercenter. St. Bernard Parish officials said Monday that plans are underway to move the "living history" re-enactments set for this week's anniversary of the 1815 battle to Sidney Torres Park instead of the Chalmette Battlefield, the site where U.S. forces led by Gen. Andrew Jackson defeated an invading British army.
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For New Orleans short-term rentals, big changes are proposed

Posted: 1/9/2019 | NOLA.com
New Orleans City Council members are expected to vote Thursday (Jan. 10) on short-term rental regulations that have spawned a tug of war, with local operators and investors on one side and affordable housing advocates on the other. The latest version of rules Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer is offering does not include a cap on the number of units in apartment buildings and affordable housing requirements, which were originally proposed.
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Preliminary vote on New Orleans short-term rental changes delayed; a look at new timeline

Posted: 12/19/2018 | The Advocate
New Orleans City Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer’s push to tighten the city's rules on short-term rentals hit its first speed bump this week, as questions from other council members about the plan’s details delayed a preliminary vote to kick off the approval process. The council had been expected to take that first vote Thursday, but Palmer sent out a news release late Monday announcing that it has been postponed until sometime in January.
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New Orleans physicians take a stand for Gordon Plaza relocation

Posted: 12/15/2018 | Big Easy Magazine
Virginia Byron, MD, a resident at Tulane Medical Center, has spent the last few months educating the Medical professional community about Gordon Plaza, where over 50 households still live on the site of an abandoned landfill. The location was designated a “Superfund Site” in 1994 by the EPA, and residents have been petitioning for decades to get fully-funded relocation, so that they may escape the site where their neighbors have been dying of cancer for decades. The development was built by the city and included a rent-to-own community that was run by the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO).
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Four Historic Trees

Posted: 12/12/2018 | Big Easy Magazine
At a neighborhood participation project meeting in October, the crowd was feeling restive. Primarily white and middle-aged, those assembled were there to hear and submit comments on the development of 4100 Royal Street—a 1.8 square acre lot that currently is a small park in the Bywater owned by the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO).
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Rep. Richmond Introduces Comprehensive Affordable Housing Bill

Posted: 12/11/2018 | HANO News Alert
Washington, DC- Today, Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA) introduced the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, a bill originally introduced in the Senate by United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). This bill will reduce rent costs and provide greater access to home ownership through first-time homebuyer payment assistance.
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U.S. Justice Department sues St. Bernard Parish for housing discrimination against people with disabilities

Posted: 12/7/2018 | NOLA.com
The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit Thursday (Dec. 6) accusing the St. Bernard Parish government of discrimination in repeatedly refusing to allow two group homes, intended for teens aged 13 to 17 with mental and emotional disabilities, to operate in St. Bernard neighborhoods. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in New Orleans,
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New Orleans recreation department appoints former director as new CEO

Posted: 12/5/2018 | NOLA.com
Larry Barabino Jr., the former post-Katrina head of New Orleans’ recreation department, has been tapped to lead the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission as its permanent chief executive officer. The commission, meeting Tuesday evening (Dec. 4), voted unanimously to approve his appointment.
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Details on Larry Barabino, who's recommended to again lead New Orleans' recreation deparment

Posted: 12/4/2018 | The Advocate
A decade after his first stint running recreation in New Orleans, Larry Barabino Jr. is poised to take the reins of the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission. A seven-member selection committee voted unanimously Monday evening to recommend that Barabino lead the agency again. The full commission is expected to ratify that recommendation Tuesday evening.
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What to Know in New Orleans this week

Posted: 11/26/2018 | Gambit Weekly
"The report was stunning — breathtaking. It's an insult. It's a whiz down the leg of every taxpayer in Louisiana and America." That was U.S. Sen. John Neely Kennedy, reacting to a report by Louisiana Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera that the state may have misspent up to $85 million of Medicaid funds. He also called for the resignation of Louisiana Health Department Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee, who reports to Gov. John Bel Edwards, not to Kennedy or to any federal agency.
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Three charged with racketeering, drug trafficking, other crimes in Central City

Posted: 11/19/2018 | Uptown Messenger
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office announced Nov. 16 it has secured the indictment of three people charged with racketeering conspiracy and other crimes as part of a criminal enterprise trafficking narcotics — primarily crack cocaine — in Central City. Brandon “Poo” Butler, Darion “D-Man” Audrict and Crystal Butler were charged in the indictment handed up Nov. 15 by an Orleans Parish special grand jury. Crystal Butler, 44, is the mother of Brandon Butler, 22. Audrict also is 22, but turns 23 on Nov. 28.
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New Orleans City Planning Commission approves affordable housing plan minus key element

Posted: 11/19/2018 | The Advocate
The New Orleans City Planning Commission has recommended dropping the core element of a plan aimed at increasing the amount of affordable housing in the city, balking at a plan that would allow the city to require that apartments for low-income renters be included in developments in specific parts of the city.
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Slain New Orleans officer's gun linked to deadly Central City gang, indictment says

Posted: 11/19/2018 | The Advocate
Four months before he took part in a mass shooting in New Orleans' Central City neighborhood, killing one person and wounding five others, a street gang member had possession of a slain police officer’s stolen gun, prosecutors allege. An indictment handed up by an Orleans Parish special grand jury on Thursday accuses Darion “D-Man” Audrict of having the weapon, though not of killing Housing Authority of New Orleans Police Officer James Bennett.
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Suspect in mass Central City shooting was in possession of slain HANO officer’s stolen gun: indictment

Posted: 11/16/2018 | NOLA.com
A man facing charges in a 2016 mass Central City shooting is now accused of being in possession of a stolen firearm that belonged to a slain Housing Authority of New Orleans police officer, according to racketeering indictment unsealed Friday (Nov. 16) in Orleans Parish. Authorities do not allege the stolen gun was used in the mass shooting.
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New Orleans steps closer to affordable housing requirement for developers

Posted: 11/14/2018 | NOLA.com
Rules requiring that more affordable housing units be added to new and refurbished developments in New Orleans inched closer to reality Tuesday (Nov. 13), though city planning officials did not back one of three options on the table for so-called inclusionary zoning. At a meeting Tuesday, the City Planning Commission green-lit a package of zoning changes aimed at requiring affordable units for developments over certain densities. The changes now head to the New Orleans City Council for final approval.
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New Orleans city planners: affordable housing requirements 'integral' to address crisis

Posted: 11/7/2018 | Gambit Weekly
While New Orleans endures a housing crisis “worsening by day as residents struggle to find or remain in affordable living arrangements,” city planners recommend that new developments include affordable units.. A report from the New Orleans City Planning Commission staff recommends those units remain affordable for at least 99 years and create housing in centrally located and desirable neighborhoods where cost-burdened residents are feeling the squeeze or displaced further from work, schools and other services.
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Mice. Mold. Messes.

Posted: 11/5/2018 | FOX-8 Live
BOGALUSA, Louisiana (InvestigateTV) - Thousands of the nation’s poorest residents – many elderly or disabled – live in deplorable and life-threatening conditions because Congress and the federal government have broken their promise to provide safe and sanitary public housing. Hundreds of public housing complexes where they live are rotting from neglect, unable to pass inspections by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development year after year, an InvestigateTV/Raycom Media analysis of federal data shows.
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A Former Church becomes Affordable Housing in the 7th Ward

Posted: 10/18/2018 | NOLA Curbed
The former Sacred Heart church on St. Bernard Avenue in the 7th Ward has been renovated and converted into a 53-unit apartment complex serving low-income residents. Officials celebrated the building’s grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today. “Housing affordability is at a crisis point in New Orleans, making projects like this one vitally important,” mayor LaToya Cantrell stated in a press release.
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New Orleans Council moves to create key budget committee after 10 month delay

Posted: 10/18/2018 | NOLA.com
The New Orleans City Council on Thursday (Oct. 18) began the process to create an advisory committee for the city’s Neighborhood Housing Improvement Fund after a 10-month delay. Money from the NHIF is used subsidize the development and purchase of affordable housing and fund the city’s code enforcement efforts.
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New Orleans city planners reluctant to support mandatory affordable housing idea: here's why

Posted: 10/11/2018 | Gambit Weekly
City planners are asking for more time to determine how New Orleans can best address its affordable housing crisis by requiring affordable units in new developments. In its request for a deadline extension, city planners agree that the city is “in the midst of a housing crisis, which is worsening as affordable housing development fails to keep up with needs." An “inclusionary zoning” component to the city’s comprehensive zoning ordinance — the city’s governing land use document — is “one of the ways in which [New Orleans] can work toward addressing the housing crisis and can be used along with other housing policies to address the city’s housing needs," according to the request.
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Zip codes determine a child's opportunity in New Orleans

Posted: 10/9/2018 | NOLA.com
Most of us would agree that ZIP codes should not determine a child's health, wealth and opportunity. Yet, neighborhoods and life outcomes are closely linked. Racial residential segregation has shifted, but it persists as a defining feature of the American way of life -- a feature that comes with crippling costs for everyone.
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What to expect as plan for big changes to New Orleans short term rentals heads to City Council

Posted: 10/4/2018 | Gambit Weekly
After nearly 10 hours of public comment and discussion, the New Orleans City Planning Commission unanimously approved recommendations in a staff report that could drastically change the landscape of short-term rentals in New Orleans. The CPC’s latest staff report recommends getting rid of the current “temporary” rentals category entirely — that type allows people to rent out their properties for up to 90 days a year on platforms like Airbnb, which the CPC argues effectively takes them off the housing market when its intent was to allow local owners to rent out their home for up to three months out of the year.
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Developer for Charity Hospital revitalization selected

Posted: 10/3/2018 | New Orleans City Business
A committee on Tuesday named its preferred developer to work with as plans for revitalizing the former Charity Hospital building move forward. The LSU Charity Hospital Redevelopment Project Management Committee is recommending 1532 Tulane Partners as the team to negotiate with. It is made up of the U.S. branch of El-Ad Holdings, an Israel-based real estate development company, and CCNO Development, a developer-builder based in New Orleans.
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Neglected school approved for affordable senior citizen housing

Posted: 10/3/2018 | NOLA.com
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - An elementary school that’s been vacant for years is an eyesore and a safety hazard for many in the area. The Oretha Castle Haley Elementary School sits at the busy North Robertson-North Claiborne intersection. Vacant since Katrina, the old school building stands covered in graffiti with needles sprinkling the sidewalks. Surrounding homeowners say they’ve grown accustomed to keeping a wary eye on the property for suspicious activity.
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Man shot in Treme Tuesday afternoon: NOPD

Posted: 10/3/2018 | NOLA.com
A man was shot Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 2) in Treme, according to New Orleans police. NOPD sent a notice about the shooting, at the intersection of Orleans Avenue and North Miro Street, just after 2 p.m. Investigators gathered near a dark-colored, older-model Jeep that appeared to have crashed into a wooden fence at the intersection of North Miro and Orleans, an area that was cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape.
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Affordable housing requirements, homestead exemptions, end of French Quarter ban? What's next for short-term rentals

Posted: 9/24/2018 | Gambit Weekly
After several hours of public comment during the first hearing in the next round of debates over the future of short-term rental rules in New Orleans, city planners said they may want to consider attaching affordable housing requirements to some short-term rental development. But the City Planning Commission will hold off on sending the New Orleans City Council its recommendations for those rules — based on an extensive report and proposals from the CPC staff — until next week. The CPC’s deadline to hand over those recommendations is Oct. 5. The commission will hold a special meeting to mull those recommendations on Oct. 3.
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After time on New Orleans city council, Stacy Head starts with Louisiana Housing Corp.

Posted: 9/24/2018 | The Advocate
Former New Orleans City Councilwoman Stacy Head has found a new cause: affordable housing. Head recently attended her first meeting as a member of the board that governs the Louisiana Housing Corp., an agency tasked with providing affordable housing options for the state’s residents. Head, a Democrat, was appointed by House Speaker Taylor Barras, one of the state's top Republicans.
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These are the 10 areas in the New Orleans metro with lowest life expectancy

Posted: 9/18/2018 | NOLA.com
A new tool using public data provides a glimpse of how where a person lives can affect how long they live. The data comes from the United States Small-Area Life Expectancy Estimates Project (USALeep), a joint effort between the Centers for Disease Control and the National Center for Health Statistics. The project was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
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As the 2019 city budget approaches, City Councilmembers talk increased revenue possibilities

Posted: 9/12/2018 | Mid-City Messenger
As the 2019 city budget looms just months away, members of the New Orleans City Council are making the rounds to answer constituent questions about infrastructure, property taxes and possible sources of increased revenues outside of tax increases. Councilmembers Joe Giarrusso and Jay Banks stopped by the Mid-City Neighborhood Organization to outline the city’s budgeting priorities Monday evening. The pair have visited several other area neighborhood associations to answer public questions about the budget and new possible sources of revenue, as well as common issues such as pothole-filled streets and a lack of drainage.
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HANO wins $714K grant to house 99 disabled New Orleanians

Posted: 9/11/2018 | The Advocate
Nearly 100 disabled New Orleans residents, some of them homeless, will soon have a home to call their own. The Housing Authority of New Orleans has landed a $714,000 federal grant to provide 99 new housing subsidies for people who are disabled, homeless or at risk of losing their homes, officials said. The grants will not cover senior citizens, who receive assistance under a separate initiative.
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Officer-involved shooting reported in Lower Garden District area

Posted: 9/10/2018 | NOLA.com
A man and woman sought by federal agents were wounded Monday morning (Sept. 10) when an officer working with a U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force fired at the pair's vehicle after the car nearly hit him at the edge of the Lower Garden District in New Orleans, authorities said. The man was shot in the shoulder and hand and the woman received a graze wound in the officer-involved shooting, which occurred in the area of the former St. Thomas Housing Development, said Scott Illing with the U.S. Marshals Office, Eastern District of Louisiana.
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HANO's program to help Section 8 residents live in higher-income areas runs into challenges

Posted: 9/10/2018 | The Advocate
When federal funding for low-income housing shifted after Hurricane Katrina from government-owned housing projects to vouchers for privately owned residences, many New Orleans policymakers hoped the change would mean new opportunities for the city’s poor. Instead, many poor residents were shifted from public housing complexes to other neighborhoods, often storm-wrecked, where voucher recipients could afford to live.
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Justice continues to be elusive for Gordon Plaza residents

Posted: 9/7/2018 | Louisiana Weekly
For more than twenty years, residents of Gordon Plaza have been asking the city of New Orleans to relocate them. In the 1990s, they learned (following EPA testing) that their homes sat on top of cancer causing chemicals, lingering from the area’s use as a city-owned agricultural landfill. On August 8, the 54 remaining households in the neighborhood reached out to Mayor Latoya Cantrell, requesting a meeting and asking the mayor to tour Gordon Plaza, where several city-owned buildings and lots have been left blighted since Katrina.
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Public comment extended for short-term rental study as platforms, operators host community meetings

Posted: 8/23/2018 | Gambit Weekly
The New Orleans City Planning Commission (CPC) now has an extended deadline on its short-term rental report, which will head to the New Orleans City Council with recommendations on changes to the city's rules governing rentals on platforms like Airbnb. Public comment will be accepted through through Sept. 17, and the commission will review the study Sept. 5. The City Council is expected to discuss its findings in October.
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Woman killed in Desire neighborhood shooting: NOPD

Posted: 8/22/2018 | NOLA.com
A teenage girl was shot in the head and killed late Tuesday (Aug. 21) near an intersection in the Desire neighborhood, New Orleans police reported. Her name has not been released by authorities. The Orleans Parish Coroner's Office on Wednesday identified her as 17-year-old Tajana Williams. The shooting occurred about 11:45 p.m. NOPD officers were in the Desire area when they heard a gunshot, according to NOPD spokesman Juan Barnes.
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HANO sheds 'substandard' rating after correcting errors

Posted: 8/20/2018 | The Advocate
The Housing Authority of New Orleans has managed to shed the "substandard" rating it received on its annual audit this spring after fixing an accounting error and correcting how it logs public housing occupancy rates. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development routinely grades public housing authorities on their operations, finances, capital spending and the physical condition of their buildings.
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Mayor Cantrell removes key affordable housing advocate from HANO board

Posted: 8/20/2018 | NOLA.com
Mayor LaToya Cantrell has removed one of the foremost housing advocates in the city, HousingNOLA executive director Andreanecia Morris, from the Housing Authority of New Orleans board of directors, according to a letter signed by Cantrell. Morris, who was appointed to the board by former Mayor Mitch Landrieu, said she received the letter on Aug. 10 and did not know why she was removed from the board.
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New Orleans' affordability problem 'isn't being cured': Home prices up again in first half of 2018

Posted: 8/20/2018 | The Advocate
Home prices are rising again in New Orleans after taking a dip last year, giving a boost to property owners but also likely intensifying the city's shortage of affordable housing. The average price per square foot of a single-family home in Orleans Parish rose by 8.6 percent in the first six months of 2018 compared with the same period a year earlier, according to newly released figures — reversing a recent dip that analysts had described as inevitable following years of steady price increases.
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HUD reverses course, allows Jefferson Housing Authority to hire contractor for vouchers

Posted: 8/17/2018 | The Advocate
Two days after ordering the Jefferson Parish Housing Authority to "cease and desist" awarding a new contract to manage the agency's voucher program, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reversed course and told the authority it can move ahead. Housing Authority Executive Director Wayne Woods said he was notified Thursday that the federal agency had finally approved the local authority's contracting policy, which it followed earlier this month in selecting a new company to run the voucher program.
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City Council trying to tackle affordable housing issues with inclusionary zoning

Posted: 8/14/2018 | WWLTV
Long-time New Orleanian Robert Bannerman is moving out and saying goodbye to his Treme apartment building. He says a new landlord bought the place with plans of one day turning it into a short-term rental property. “It’s frustrating to not be able to live near where you work,” said Bannerman. “It’s frustrating to see the whole neighborhood being turned into these kinds of units.” According to Andreanecia Morris with Housing NOLA, large investors buying whole homes (or apartment complexes) and turning them into short-term rentals is one tricky part of the often complicated New Orleans housing crisis.
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What to Know in New Orleans this week

Posted: 8/14/2018 | Gambit Weekly
The New Orleans City Council is pushing to adopt policies that would require affordable housing in new developments — policies that are up against a deadline from Gov. John Bel Edwards and state lawmakers. The City Planning Commission will look at “inclusionary zoning” rules that would make affordable units a requirement in certain developments, which follows a “smart housing mix” study that addresses areas where “disparities in affordable and workplace housing options exist.”
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Affordable housing incentives in New Orleans need more studying, council decides

Posted: 8/14/2018 | NOLA.com
New Orleans City Council members on Thursday (Aug. 9) agreed with Mayor LaToya Cantrell's plan to restart efforts to require developers to include affordable housing in new projects. But council members said they shared concerns with housing advocates who say the mayor's proposal, in its current form, won't make a sizeable dent in the city's need for affordable homes.
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Up against an affordability crisis and a deadline, New Orleans officials consider 'mandatory' affordable housing

Posted: 8/9/2018 | Gambit Weekly
With a limited availability of federal funding, more cities are looking at local options to support affordable housing by leaning on legislation to place affordability requirements on new construction. Luxury housing developments often are outpacing affordable units; newer units end up charging higher prices to recoup construction costs and pay back debts to investors — leaving even fewer housing options for lower-income residents while officials look to attract more development using tax incentivizes that aren’t attached to affordability requirements.
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New Orleans considers affordable housing requirements for developers

Posted: 8/9/2018 | NOLA.com
New Orleans City Council members on Tuesday (Aug. 7) advanced what could become Mayor LaToya Cantrell's first major piece of housing legislation, but not before expressing skepticism about how the proposal would work. The proposal recommends a more narrow approach than previous proposals requiring affordable housing in new housing developments, allowing council members to carve out affordable housing districts that could be as small as a single parcel.
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New Orleans affordable housing crisis: Officials weighing options, 'challenges' next steps

Posted: 8/8/2018 | The Advocate
New Orleans City Council members took a first step Tuesday toward reviving long-stalled plans to boost the availability of affordable housing in the city. The council's Community Development Committee voted to forward a measure to the full council asking the City Planning Commission to study so-called "inclusionary zoning," or rules requiring developers to reserve some housing units in new developments for low-income residents.
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HUD's smoke-free policy covers less than half of New Orleans' public housing residents

Posted: 8/1/2018 | NOLA.com
A federal smoking ban now in effect for public housing does not include sites in New Orleans rebuilt after Katrina with private partners. That leaves it up to the entities that control these communities to determine whether they want to provide a smoke-free setting for some 2,700 residents -- more than half of the city's public housing population.
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HANO board extends executive director's contract for a year on split vote

Posted: 8/1/2018 | The Advocate
A divided Housing Authority of New Orleans granted Executive Director Gregg Fortner another year on the job Tuesday, despite concerns from some members about how he would be held accountable for improvements and a lack of input from newly appointed commissioners in the decision. The 5-3 vote came after commissioners who favored the extension argued that with Fortner’s contract having already expired, action had to be taken quickly to avoid a leadership vacuum at the agency.
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Smoking ban in all public housing takes effect nationwide

Posted: 7/31/2018 | WWLTV
Smoking is no longer allowed inside public housing nationwide starting today. The ban from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) department was announced back in November 2016 but gave Public Housing Agencies until July 31, 2018 to comply. HUD explained that the smoke-free rule will reduce damage and maintenance costs tied to smoking, cutback on secondhand smoke and lower the risk of accidental fires. People who smoke are still allowed to rent units, but as part of the policy, no smoking will be allowed inside any public housing buildings or within 25 feet of those buildings. Each housing agency can also create additional smoke-free areas if they choose.
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HUD Awards HANO $2.3M Jobs Plus Grant

Posted: 7/31/2018 | Louisiana Weekly
The Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) secured a $2.3 million Jobs Plus grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help families living in public housing obtain employment and make other quality-of-life improvements. Local officials were delighted to hear the news. “This grant can support the efforts of up to 264 adult residents who are unemployed or under-employed living in two of our largest public housing communities,” said HANO Executive Director Gregg Fortner.
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HANO lands $2.3 million grant to help public housing residents find jobs

Posted: 7/28/2018 | The Advocate
The Housing Authority of New Orleans has received a $2.3 million federal grant to help public housing residents find and keep better-paying jobs. HANO is one of seven public housing authorities across the U.S. that will split $14 million in grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development as part of the Jobs Plus Initiative. The money will be combined with roughly $2.7 million from HANO and its local partners, for a total investment of $5 million.
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HANO gets grant to help public housing residents improve employment

Posted: 7/26/2018 | New Orleans City Business
The Housing Authority of New Orleans has been awarded a $2.3 million grant to help families living in public housing improve their job outlook. The grant is one of seven from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development to Public Housing Authority agencies. HANO’s grant was the largest. The program will be focused within the Bienville Basin and Faubourg Lafitte communities, a news release said. Participants will receive assistance in securing employment, increasing their income and moving toward self-sufficiency. Each will be offered case management and will be connected to services designed to support work, such as adult education, digital literacy, job readiness, employment placement, credit counseling and bank management.
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Educare New Orleans benefit concert features Blind Boys of Alabama, Irma Thomas and Cyril Neville

Posted: 7/26/2018 | NOLA.com
The Blind Boys of Alabama was among the talented performers at the Educare New Orleans Gospel and Soul Celebration at the Orpheum Theater on Sunday (July 22). Other concert performers included Irma Thomas, Cyril Neville, Cornell Williams, Terence Higgins, Mem Shannon and Tom Worrell. Seth Walker played at the VIP pre-concert reception. "We're excited to have these great performers in concert to benefit the 160-plus kids and families who Educare serves every day," said Gerard Barousse Jr., chairman of Educare New Orleans.
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'Like Home Again' in Lower Ninth Ward as Vacant Lots Begin Transformation into New Housing

Posted: 7/26/2018 | The Advocate
By this time next year, a slew of vacant lots in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward will have been transformed — and Claudette Brooks will have neighbors again. Brooks joined city and state officials Wednesday to celebrate the start of construction on more than 40 rental homes in a neighborhood where recovery has been slow going more than a decade after Hurricane Katrina. The first two buildings are going up next to Brooks’ shotgun home, on land that for years has been home only to insects and overgrown grass. “It’s like home again, it really is,” she said.
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HUD Awards $14 Million to Help Low Income Public Housing Residents Secure Higher Paying Jobs

Posted: 7/24/2018 | HUD.gov
WASHINGTON - To help low-income public housing residents increase their income and move toward self-sufficiency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded $14 million to seven Public Housing Authorities (PHAs). HUD's Jobs Plus Initiative connects public housing residents with employment, education and financial empowerment services-a proven model to help public housing residents find and keep better paying jobs. Read more about how these local housing agencies will put these funds to work.
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The housing hunt just got harder for Black people

Posted: 7/24/2018 | Louisiana Weekly
(Special from Defender News Service) — Two recent studies shed light on the challenges African Americans face when searching for quality, affordable housing. One report quantified the uphill battle for Black families seeking to find affordable apartments. African Americans who earn the national median Black household income of $39,647 per year could only afford to pay for just 16 percent of available rentals, MarketWatch.com reported recently.
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Smoking will no longer be allowed in public housing in two weeks

Posted: 7/17/2018 | WWLTV
In just two weeks, people who live in public housing will no longer be allowed to smoke in their apartments, or anywhere on the grounds of the complex. It's a nationwide public housing smoking ban from HUD that HANO is enacting and will be enforcing locally. It has some residents upset that the rules have changed since they moved in. The rule is for everyone - residents as well as employees, guests and service people, and there can be fines, and even termination, for tampering with smoke detectors or not following the policy. "I've been smoking since I was 15 years old. I'm 70," said public housing resident Juanita Joseph. She knows for her, the new no smoking policy is going to be difficult.
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More than 35K eligible families on waiting list for public housing assistance in New Orleans, data shows

Posted: 7/16/2018 | The Advocate
The number of people waiting for federal housing subsidies in New Orleans grew this year, even as the local housing authority plans to hand out slightly fewer of them than last year. The newly released data offer another indication of the growing scarcity of affordable housing in the city, a trend that has put pressure on local policy makers to increase the stock of affordable units and rein in the practice of renting out thousands of homes online to tourists.
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ULX: Ten Affordable Housing Projects

Posted: 7/10/2018 | Urban Land Magazine
High-quality design and low-cost housing are not incompatible. The gray housing projects of the past are giving way to more artful buildings with landscaped courtyards and rooftop gardens, colorful facades, and varied forms. Housing authorities and developers alike are aware of the importance of pro­viding access to natural light, not just for individual units and communal spaces, but also for corridors. Spaces for gathering and interacting are crucial for building a sense of community, as are connections to the surrounding urban fabric.
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S&WB responds to City Council: Employee "discomfort" causing big problems with billing

Posted: 7/9/2018 | WWLTV
The President Pro-Tem of the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans formally responded to City Council concerns about the agency’s problem-plagued billing system saying the lack of training of its employees “doomed” its accuracy rate. In a letter sent to District A City Council Member Joe Giarrusso late Friday, Tamika Duplessis, President Pro-Tem of the board, defended the Cogsdale billing software, calling it a dependable system that was priced right.
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New Orleans housing agency rapped by judge over delays in development

Posted: 6/27/2018 | Louisiana Record
NEW ORLEANS – A federal judge has laid most of the blame for a long-delayed development of affordable units on New Orleans' housing agency in a June 8 ruling filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Judge Carl Barbier ordered the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) to pay just over $400,000 to an insurance company hired to oversee over the unit-development project after the contract with the original developers was terminated.
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Educare New Orleans closing achievement gap among area children

Posted: 6/22/2018 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — Educare New Orleans is helping children thrive in class and in life. Educare is one of the most advanced and effective early education programs in the nation. Educare New Orleans' head start operator Kingsley House provides head start and early head start administration and executive management. Administrators said being ready for kindergarten is a reliable predictor of how successful a child will be. Some studies show a child in poverty might enter kindergarten 18 months behind her peers who are socioeconomically more advantaged.
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Man wounded in Treme shooting has died: NOPD

Posted: 6/21/2018 | NOLA.com
A man shot Wednesday morning (June 20) during a domestic-related burglary in Treme has died, New Orleans police reported Wednesday evening. The shooting, which has been reclassified as a homicide, occurred in the 700 block of North Miro Street. Officers responded to reports of gunfire just after 7 a.m. and found the wounded man inside of a home, said NOPD spokeswoman Ambria Washington. Police later said the incident had been reclassified as a domestic aggravated burglary involving a shooting.
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Man shot in Treme, New Orleans Police say

Posted: 6/20/2018 | NOLA.com
A man was shot Wednesday morning (June 20) in the Treme area during a domestic aggravated burglary incident, according to the New Orleans Police Department. He was taken to an area hospital, where his condition was not immediately available. According to preliminary information from NOPD, the shooting happened in the 700 block of North Miro Street (map). NOPD reported the shooting at 7:22 a.m., but it wasn't immediately clear when it happened.
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Cities and States Step Up in Support of Preserving Fair Housing Rule

Posted: 6/19/2018 | Louisiana Weekly
In reaction to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) suspension of an important fair housing rule, a groundswell of national advocacy has emerged calling to preserve the rule and its goals of fair housing for all. To date, and in separate actions, both cities and states are speaking up for the 50-year-old Fair Housing Act and the goals that it has yet to achieve.
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Growth in New Orleans home prices may force out longtime residents, report says

Posted: 6/18/2018 | The Advocate
The New Orleans housing market is strengthening, with home prices climbing in most neighborhoods and the number of vacant or blighted properties shrinking, according to a new analysis. But some neighborhoods have not kept up with the city's overall progress. In others, values have accelerated so quickly that longtime residents are at risk of being priced out. And a family of four earning about $63,300 — the city's median family income — cannot afford to live in many sought-after neighborhoods without a government subsidy, the data show.
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New Orleans affordable housing not keeping pace with goals, report says

Posted: 6/14/2018 | NOLA.com
New Orleans is falling behind pace to meet a goal for creating thousands of affordable housing units by 2025, according to a report the HousingNOLA initiative issued Monday (June 11). The slow pace comes as another report released Wednesday - also co-authored by HousingNOLA - found that around 60 percent of New Orleans renters don't make enough money to comfortably afford housing in the city.
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New Orleans falls behind on meeting affordable housing goal, according to HousingNOLA report

Posted: 6/13/2018 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans is falling short of meeting affordable housing goals, according to a semiannual report from HousingNOLA. The report shows it's unlikely the city will meet its goal for the number of affordable housing needed, which was outlined by agencies in HousingNOLA's 10-year plan first introduced in 2015. In the first two years, HousingNOLA hoped to create 2,500 affordable units by September 2018. The report shows the group predicted a final number of about 750 units.
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Suspect arrested in shooting of 12-year-old boy near old Iberville housing complex

Posted: 5/31/2018 | The Advocate
A 38-year-old man shot a 12-year-old boy last month because the man was annoyed at how the boy was twirling sticks, New Orleans police said in court records released Thursday. The boy was twirling sticks around in the way drum majors of marching bands do on the night of May 7 near North Claiborne Avenue and Iberville Street. James Scott shot the boy in the stomach, apparently annoyed that he was playing near him, police said.
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HANO labeled as 'substandard' by HUD, but local director says low score is temporary

Posted: 5/30/2018 | The Advocate
The Housing Authority of New Orleans has received its lowest performance score from the federal government in at least four years, earning a “substandard” rating for its management of public housing. However, Executive Director Gregg Fortner said Tuesday that many issues federal officials highlighted in a recent review are likely to be remedied once HANO submits more documentation in June.
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John Bel Edwards vetoes ban on affordable housing requirements for developers

Posted: 5/29/2018 | NOLA.com
Gov. John Bel Edwards has vetoed a bill that would ban local governments in Louisiana from adopting inclusionary zoning policies that require developers to include affordable housing in their projects. In his veto message, issued Saturday (May 26), Edwards included a strong message to local elected officials about the importance of passing local inclusionary zoning laws. The governor noted that no locality in Louisiana, including New Orleans, has adopted affordable housing requirements, and he warned there could be consequences if such laws aren't advanced.
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2 men killed in Desire area shooting, New Orleans police say

Posted: 5/23/2018 | NOLA.com
Two men were fatally shot Wednesday morning (May 23) in the city's Desire area, New Orleans police said. Department spokeswoman Ambria Washington said police were called to a shooting about 7:05 a.m. to the 3400 block of Ursula Spencer Way (map), where officers found two men inside a vehicle. Both had been shot more than once and were pronounced dead at the scene.
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New Orleans housing advocates urge governor to veto bill on 'inclusionary zoning'

Posted: 5/11/2018 | The Advocate
A local housing advocacy group is urging Gov. John Bel Edwards to veto a recently passed bill that would ban so-called “inclusionary zoning” policies, which require housing developers to set aside units for low-income residents. The Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance argues that inclusionary policies could help Orleans Parish and other municipalities boost their supply of affordable housing.
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Bill barring cities from requiring affordable housing units in new developments clears state House

Posted: 5/11/2018 | The Advocate
A measure prohibiting cities in Louisiana from requiring developers to include affordable housing in their projects, which is targeted at proposed laws in New Orleans and other major cities in the state has now passed both chambers of the state Legislature. Senate Bill 462 by state Sen. Danny Martiny passed the House 61-29 on Tuesday. Because of changes made on the House floor, it now goes back to the state Senate, which passed the bill 26-11 last month.
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HUD Secretary Ben Carson to be sued for suspending Obama-era fair-housing rule

Posted: 5/8/2018 | The Washington Post
Fair-housing advocates planned to file a lawsuit early Tuesday against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and HUD Secretary Ben Carson for suspending an Obama-era rule requiring communities to examine and address barriers to racial integration. The 2015 rule required more than 1,200 communities receiving billions of federal housing dollars to draft plans to desegregate their communities — or risk losing federal funds.
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$25 million, 4-story apartment complex planned for Treme

Posted: 5/1/2018 | Canal Street Beat
McCormack Baron Salazar, one of the nation’s largest developers, has filed plans for design review for the construction of a new apartment complex in Treme. The project will feature 76 apartments and total 82,000 square feet built over four stories. 30 of the units are reserved for former Iberville residents and 46 will be available at market rate leases. The development will be constructed at the site of the former Winn Dixie, directly adjacent to the French Quarter RV Resort. The project is being financed by the Housing Authority of New Orleans and with federal funds from HUD.
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Bell Jr. High school reopens as artist and family housing

Posted: 4/30/2018 | Louisiana Weekly
‘‘If these walls could talk,” joked Artspace local project manager Joe Butler, as he addressed the crowd of Treme neighbors and culture bearers, along with philanthropic, financial and community partners at the new Bell Artspace Campus. On April 19, under a beautiful sky and amid a warm spring breeze, crowds gathered to get a firsthand look at the refurbished walls of now 79 units of affordable housing and work space for artists and their families as well as community cultural space, during the official opening of the new campus.
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Gordon Plaza residents demand new homes in federal suit against Landrieu, City

Posted: 4/27/2018 | NOLA.com
Residents of the Gordon Plaza subdivision atop the former Agriculture Street Landfill filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday (April 25) against Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the city saying that continuing to live atop atop the toxic wastes in the landfill and among the other abandoned homes and building on the site threatens their lives. The 54 remaining homeowners are demanding that they be moved to new homes.
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Housing affordability in New Orleans could reverse homeless trend, study says

Posted: 4/25/2018 | NOLA.com
Chronic homelessness in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish continues to decline, but there are concerns about a new population being forced to the streets by a housing affordability crisis. That's according to a report issued Wednesday (April 25) from Unity of Greater New Orleans, the nonprofit that coordinates services for the homeless and finds permanent supportive housing for people living on the street.
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HUD Secretary Ben Carson to propose rent increases for Americans receiving housing subsidies

Posted: 4/25/2018 | Chicago Tribune
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Wednesday proposed raising the amount that low-income families are expected to pay for rent - tripling it for the poorest households - as well as encouraging those receiving housing subsidies to work, according to a legislative proposal obtained by The Washington Post.
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Zoning Bill Opposed by N.O. Officials Passes House Committee

Posted: 4/19/2018 | NOLA.com
A Louisiana House committee on Wednesday (April 18) voted to approve a ban that would forbid local governments from requiring developers to include affordable housing in new developments. The bill was staunchly opposed by New Orleans City Council members, affordable housing advocates and Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
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Hot Seat: Outgoing council member Stacy Head on the good, the bad, the ugly

Posted: 4/18/2018 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — Outgoing and longtime New Orleans City Council member Stacy Head discussed several topics currently facing New Orleans, including the state of recovery since Hurricane Katrina and her thoughts on the removal of four Confederate monuments. Head, who is finishing out her term as council member-at-large, also spoke about her future plans and what she hope to accomplish in her last days as a council member. Click the video for more.
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What's your grade for the past 4 years of the New Orleans City Council?

Posted: 4/18/2018 | NOLA.com
On Tuesday (April 17), NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune asked readers what they thought about Mayor Mitch Landrieu's performance since he took office in 2010. Now, readers can weigh in on how the New Orleans City Council members did during their four years in office, which began in 2014. The current City Council has some highly experienced members: Stacy Head has the most seniority, having served 12 years; Susan Guidry leaves the council after eight years.
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Our Views: Don't limit cities' housing choices

Posted: 4/17/2018 | The Advocate
Nobody is happier than we are to see the boom in new construction of expensive apartments and condos both in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, where downtown building is transforming the landscape. Yet with development comes costs and opportunities that the state's largest cities must manage, and we question the idea that the Legislature should stick its collective nose into issues that local government properly control.
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New Orleans needs mandatory inclusionary zoning more than ever | Letter

Posted: 4/17/2018 | NOLA.com
New Orleans is currently in the midst of an affordable housing crisis, and if Senate Bill 462 passes, it will greatly hinder our ability to rectify it. Sen. Danny Martiny's bill would eliminate the possibility of mandatory inclusionary zoning, which would be detrimental to the development of affordable housing that our state so desperately needs.
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N.O. City Council fights to maintain inclusionary zoning

Posted: 4/16/2018 | Louisiana Weekly
On April 9, Louisiana state senators voted 26-11 in favor of HB 462, banning municipal and parish governments from establishing inclusionary zoning policies. An effort to create and maintain affordable housing, inclusionary zoning laws leverage the construction of market rate developments to create affordable housing units, requiring developers to set aside a percentage of units in a new development for below market rate housing. Days prior to the senate vote, New Orleans city council members Latoya Cantrell and Jason Williams introduced a resolution opposing the measure, arguing that zoning is a local issue as mandated in the state constitution.
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New Orleans hasn't acted to require affordable housing; could ban such zoning

Posted: 4/12/2018 | NOLA.com
The New Orleans City Council is urging lawmakers in Baton Rouge to oppose legislation that would stop local governments from requiring private developers to include affordable housing in their residential projects -- a practice known as inclusionary zoning. Council members are united against the bill state Sen. Danny Martiny, R-Metairie, has sponsored. All but Stacy Head, who was absent, were made authors of a resolution making their opposition official last week.
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At Grand Opening of Affordable Housing Development, Councilmember Calls for HANO Leadership Change

Posted: 4/12/2018 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — The latest affordable housing development in New Orleans is now complete in Central City, but construction at the Guste III high-rise came in three years past due and $11 million over budget. At the grand opening Wednesday, Councilmember-At-Large Stacy Head complimented the completed development, but said time and money wasted during construction is just a symptom of bigger problems within the Housing Authority of New Orleans. “It’s a dysfunctional organization. We cannot deny that. The facts are abundantly clear,” Head said.
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Final Phase of Guste Homes Apartments Set to Open

Posted: 4/12/2018 | New Orleans City Business
An affordable housing project in Central City that began construction over a decade ago has completed its final phase of work. The Housing Authority of New Orleans said Tuesday that the third phase of redevelopment in the Guste Homes Community at 2100 Clio St. has been completed. The community was built in 1964 with 993 public housing units. In 2004, HANO received approval from U.S. Housing and Urban Development to use grant funding to demolish six low-rise buildings at the site.
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Faubourg Lafitte Adding Affordable Housing Units with Grant Awards

Posted: 4/10/2018 | NOLA.com
New affordable housing units will be added at Faubourg Lafitte, and the last structure from the public housing project previously on the site will be renovated with money from grants provided to its nonprofit developer. Providence Community Housing announced the awards, totaling $3.25 million. In partnership with Enterprise Community Partners, Providence received a $2 million Community Development Block Grant from the Louisiana Housing Corp.
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Louisiana Senate OKs ban on affordable housing zoning requirements, sends bill to house

Posted: 4/10/2018 | The Advocate
Louisiana senators approved Monday night legislation that would assert state authority over local zoning efforts to create affordable housing. Senate Bill 462 would forbid municipal and parish governments from requiring developers to set aside a certain number of low income units in order to receive building permits for apartment, condo, single family and other housing projects.
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8 reasons why New Orleans neighborhoods remain segregated

Posted: 4/8/2018 | NOLA.com
New Orleans had a chance after Hurricane Katrina to reverse centuries of racist housing practices that provided the framework for the entrenched segregation we still see in the city's neighborhoods. Instead, a new report says policy decisions made after the storm only "repeated or amplified" the racist underpinnings in local housing.
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State lawmakers trying again to block affordable housing mandate for developers

Posted: 3/16/2018 | NOLA.com
A proposal to ban Louisiana cities from requiring developers to include affordable housing in new multifamily projects has found new life in this year's legislative session, with the bill cruising through a Senate committee Tuesday (March 27). This year, the bill's sponsor is state Sen. Danny Martiny, who is taking up the measure after a similar proposal was defeated in the House of Representatives by a single vote last year.
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Man Accused of Hate Crime After Threats Shouted in Desire Area: NOPD

Posted: 3/16/2018 | NOLA.com
A 56-year-old man was arrested Thursday (March 15) and booked with hate crimes and other charges after New Orleans police say he used a racial slur in the Desire neighborhood while threatening a group of people with a BB gun. Richard Gallegos faces three counts of a hate crime and three counts of aggravated assault, court records show.
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Woman Shot on Jonquil Street: NOPD

Posted: 3/16/2018 | NOLA.com
A 33-year-old woman suffered a gunshot wound to the leg in the 2400 block of Jonquil Street late Thursday afternoon (March 15), New Orleans police reported. Around 5:43 p.m., two men were seen shooting at a home, according to NOPD's major offense log. Police vehicles were stationed at various points throughout the neighborhood shortly afterward, with most of them posted in the 2400 block of Lavender Street, which sits between Jonquil Street and Iris Street.
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Orleans Parish School district must pay $12 million to students who attended school atop hazardous waste site

Posted: 3/8/2018 | The Lens
A civil district court judge has ordered the Orleans Parish School Board to pay about $12 million to 1,433 former students who attended a school built on a hazardous landfill decades ago. That equates to $1,000 for every year each student attended Robert R. Moton Elementary School atop the Agriculture Street landfill in the Desire neighborhood. The city and the Housing Authority of New Orleans faced similar lawsuits related to public housing nearby. Plaintiffs argued the city and the school board did not ensure the area was safe before building homes and the school on contaminated sites.
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OPINION: President Trump's FY 2019 Budget Hurts Low-Income, Black and Brown Communities

Posted: 3/8/2018 | Black Press USA
If you want to know how a president feels about your community, then all you need to do is look at his or her budget, because it reflects their values—both what they value and what they don’t. If you look at President Trump’s FY 2019 budget, it’s clear that he doesn’t value low-income and black and brown communities because he cuts programs that these communities disproportionately rely on, including the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (food stamp program), Medicaid, the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program, and Community Development Block Grants, which provide funding for projects and programs—affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development—that inner city and rural communities need to survive.
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No Landrieu veto after council pulls affordable riverfront housing requirement

Posted: 3/8/2018 | NOLA.com
Mayor Mitch Landrieu opposes the New Orleans City Council decision not to require affordable housing along New Orleans' waterfront in the Bywater and Marigny neighborhoods, but he decided not to veto the matter. The mayor's office said he allowed an ordinance to become law on Tuesday (March 6) without his signature that strips an affordable housing requirement in exchange for increasing the height of riverfront buildings.
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Woman arrested again in 2nd drug raid in 1 month at Algiers home

Posted: 2/28/2018 | NOLA.com
An Algiers woman was arrested Monday (Feb. 26) on various drug-related charges, roughly one month after she was booked as part of a raid that involved dogfighting allegations at the same Tasha Place address, according to New Orleans police. Sandra Steadman, 38, was booked with possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, marijuana and Tramadol after police said they found the drugs and more than $2,000 in cash during Monday's search of the home.
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NOPD, LSP, HANO Police Make Arrest in Drug Distribution Operation in Fourth District

Posted: //2018 | NOPD News
The NOPD – with the assistance of Louisiana State Police’s Narcotics Division and Housing Authority of New Orleans Police – arrested Sandra Stedman (DOBL 09-28-1979) on February 26, 2018 in connection with a narcotics investigation in the NOPD’s Fourth District. On January 29, 2018, Fourth District narcotics detectives concluded an investigation into a reported operation centered around a residence in the 3600 block of Tasha Place. The Fourth District detectives, assisted by the NOPD’s Special Operation Division, served a search warrant on the location and discovered multiple weapons, crack cocaine, marijuana, Oxycodone and Clonazepam inside the residence.
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$20 Million, 76 Unit Mixed-Income Apartments To Replace Former Winn-Dixie

Posted: 2/6/2018 | Canal Street Beat
The former Winn-Dixie in Treme just outside the French Quarter were to be demolished today. The building has been vacant since Hurricane Katrina and is scheduled to become public-housing. Developer McCormack Baron Salazar and the Housing Authority of New Orleans was set to demolish the building at St. Louis and North Villere streets at 2:30 p.m. today.
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Public Housing to Replace Former Winn-Dixie

Posted: 2/6/2018 | WWLTV
NEW ORLEANS -- A former Winn-Dixie that has been closed since Hurricane Katrina will meet the wrecking ball Tuesday, clearing the way for dozens of new public-housing units. The Housing Authority of New Orleans said demolition of the grocery store at St. Louis and North Villere streets will begin at 2:30 p.m. When the site next to the former Iberville Public Housing Development is cleared, work will begin on 76 mixed-income apartments. Groundbreaking is set for the fall of 2018.
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Backatown Coffee Parlour Opens in Historic Neighborhood: Opening Alert

Posted: 1/23/2018 | NOLA.com
Walk into Backatown Coffee Parlour and one of the first things one notices -- besides the scent of brewing coffee -- are the high ceilings, natural light and colorful murals. The coffee shop in the HRI Properties Iberville redevelopment on Basin Street was opened in November by Alonzo and Jessica Knox. The building sits on property where the former Iberville public housing complex once stood. It is just down the block from St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.
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The Trump Administration Just Derailed a Key Obama Rule on Housing Segregation

Posted: 1/4/2018 | City Lab
The Trump administration is rolling back the deadline for a key rule on fair housing made into law under President Barack Obama—a change with potentially broad consequences for racial segregation. The new guidance will give communities until well after 2020 to comply with an Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule put in place two years ago. The Obama-era rule represented a long-awaited effort to give teeth to a federal Civil Rights-era requirement that local governments take active steps to undo racial segregation.
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New Orleanian of the Year 2017: Andreanecia Morris

Posted: 12/13/2017 | Gambit Weekly
Before her career as an affordable housing advocate, Andreanecia Morris had her sights set on becoming a showrunner. "Before there was a Shonda Rhimes, I wanted to be a Shonda Rhimes," she says, laughing. "The idea I had in my mind was working in television — not in front of the camera but behind the camera, in production."
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Iberville redevelopment gets financing boost from HANO

Posted: 12/12/2017 | NOLA.com
The massive redevelopment of the former Iberville public housing complex is chugging along, with the Housing Authority of New Orleans agreeing Tuesday to pour another $9.2 million into the $600 million project. That money will help fund the project’s $19 million seventh phase, which will create 56 mostly affordable housing units on and around the former Iberville site at the edge of the French Quarter.
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300 unique New Orleans moments: City's first housing projects open in 1941

Posted: 11/30/2017 | NOLA.com
Built to help move people out of poverty, over the years, New Orleans’ housing projects ended up warehousing the poor. Today, even the Housing Authority of New Orleans, which manages public housing, says the history of such housing in the city is “complex, marked by economic and social challenges.” The city’s housing projects were spurred by the U.S. Housing Act of 1937, which led the way for the construction in 1941 of the St. Thomas and Iberville projects for whites, and the Magnolia, Calliope, Lafitte and St. Bernard for blacks.
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How will Cantrell or Charbonnet run New Orleans if elected mayor? See where candidates stand on hot button issues

Posted: 11/12/2017 | NOLA.com
Normally, a runoff is an opportunity for candidates to distinguish themselves from their opponents on the issues, sharpening and amplifying their messages once they’re no longer competing with a crowded field. Not this year, apparently. As the clock ticks down to this Saturday’s mayoral election in New Orleans, the race has been focused on just about everything but the city’s myriad problems.
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Guest column: Housing vital topic for election

Posted: 10/31/2017 | NOLA.com/
As New Orleanians prepare to go to the polls on Nov. 18, we are entering into one of the most crucial run-off election seasons to date. Where we were once embarking on historic progress, we’ve stalled. Where we were finally seeing momentum with production goals and policy priorities, we’ve stagnated. Where we had been assured by politicians that they heard the needs of their constituents and were committed to finally prioritizing affordable housing, we were misled.
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Civil rights groups sue HUD alleging housing segregation

Posted: 10/30/2017 | Louisiana Weekly
Several civil rights organizations sued the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Oct. 23, challenging the federal government’s decision to suspend a rule that would have helped low-income families secure affordable housing. A lawyer for one of the organizations, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., said the delay will “needlessly deprive families.” “The new rule gives families the purchasing power to move to higher-opportunity neighborhoods instead of being confined to segregated and impoverished ones,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, LDF President and Director-Counsel. “But the rule doesn’t just open the door to a wider variety of housing choices. Families would also be able to choose better schools, jobs, healthcare and even better grocery stores.”
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Six candidates seeking District B seat on New Orleans City Council

Posted: 10/8/2017 | NOLA.com
Search New Orleans’ District B, and you'll find lots of prosperity, from Central Business District office towers to the Garden District’s stately mansions and the gentrifying Irish Channel. But that affluence hasn't touched abandoned Central City buildings or empty lots in Gert Town. And the disparities are a chief reason why six candidates say they're seeking to represent the City Council district in Saturday's election.
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Warrant Clinic May Have Saved City of New Orleans $1 Million-Plus

Posted: 10/6/2017 | Next City
Ricky Donnie Coston Jr. was riding his bicycle at night in New Orleans in 2015 when he was stopped by the police for running a stop sign. They searched his bag and found his firearm. Coston, who is black, says the gun was registered, but since he didn’t have his papers on him he was arrested and spent three nights in jail. He was bailed out by his employer, who agreed to let him work off the payment.
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How Educare Is Closing New Orleans’s Achievement Gap by Beginning Early Education at Birth

Posted: 10/5/2017 | The 74
Itsy Bitsy Spider” plays softly as parents step into the gleaming lobby at Educare, an early childhood education center that opened in 2013 in New Orleans. On this particular day, the spider might want to give up on the waterspout and find a leaf to huddle under. Rain from Hurricane Harvey’s outer reaches lashes at the floor-to-ceiling windows. But in an infant-toddler room just down the hall, dispositions are sunny. Three teachers and eight children are on the rug, engaged in the all-consuming business of using words to build developing brains.
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WWL-TV/Advocate poll: Crime, flooding major areas of concern for voters

Posted: 10/3/2017 | WWLTV
While the New Orleans mayoral election has not elicited a lot of excitement, it doesn't mean voters are apathetic about the issues. To the contrary, the voters have strong feelings about city priorities, according to a new poll from WWL-TV and The New Orleans Advocate. New Orleans’ murder toll may be down but not the perception that crime is the city's paramount problem. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being most important, 72 percent of the respondents in the poll by Dr. Ron Faucheux rated crime a 10, followed by flood control at 64 percent.
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Four challengers take aim at City Council District E incumbent James Gray

Posted: 9/30/2017 | NOLA.com
New Orleans District E is the largest of the city's five council districts, stretching from the Lower 9th Ward to the easternmost parts of New Orleans East. But despite its size, its residents often feel neglected, left behind while the rest of the city lunges forward. The problems of the district are no secret. Especially since Hurricane Katrina, a lack of retail options, decaying infrastructure, crime and the need for economic development have been well-documented and persistent.
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A political hot 7: races to watch on Election Night

Posted: 9/25/2017 | Gambit Weekly
In addition to the New Orleans mayor's race, there are plenty of local contests to get citizens fired up about the Oct. 14 primary. The New Orleans City Council will gain at least three new members, one new face will join the Jefferson Parish Council and Louisiana will get a new state treasurer. All these are key positions. Early voting begins Saturday, Sept. 30, and continues through Oct. 7. Five of the seven New Orleans City Council races made our list of the hottest races to watch on Election Night. Here's a closer look at them and other contests in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish.
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New Orleans mayoral candidates call for changes to short-term rental rules, debate neighborhood issues

Posted: 9/20/2017 | NOLA.com
Each of the three top candidates for mayor called for changes to New Orleans' recently implemented policy on short-term rentals at a forum Tuesday night, suggesting that they would push for stricter rules, more enforcement or incentives to increase homeownership in affected neighborhoods. The question of short-term rentals kicked off a broad discussion about neighborhood issues, preservation and balancing the interests of residents and tourists during the debate among Michael Bagneris, LaToya Cantrell and Desiree Charbonnet, who polls show lead the field of 18 candidates in the Oct. 14 mayoral primary.
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Poll: Affordable housing is No. 2 issue on minds of New Orleans voters

Posted: 9/19/2017 | NOLA.com
The next mayor and City Council should think long and hard about how to create more affordable housing in New Orleans, a poll released Tuesday suggests. Overall, the poll found, housing was the second leading issue voters said they want candidates in the Oct. 14 election to address, with crime coming in first. Moreover, most voters said they support setting aside some private housing units for residents with lower incomes and requiring landlords to register and submit their rental properties to annual inspections — two ideas the City Council has been pondering.
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Here's how New Orleans mayoral candidates plan to expand economic opportunities if elected

Posted: 9/16/2017 | NOLA.com
Few places better showcase New Orleans’ post-Katrina revival than the South Market District, a half-billion-dollar residential and retail project that rose on an edge of the Central Business District long known mainly for blight and parking lots. And then there is Burnell Cotlon's neighborhood in the Lower 9th Ward. The five-block South Market District is abuzz with boutique shops, pricey apartments and trendy restaurants. There's a sprawling Rouses Market and a new streetcar line.
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HANO balances $194 million budget with surplus money, position cuts

Posted: 9/14/2017 | NOLA.com
The Housing Authority of New Orleans will cut positions and pull $864,000 from its surplus to balance a $194 million budget next fiscal year, continuing a three-year trend of belt-tightening and dipping into reserves to stay afloat. The agency's 2018 fiscal year begins Oct. 1. The surplus drawdown, approved by the authority’s board Thursday, comes seven months after Executive Director Gregg Fortner laid off as many as 18 employees in a move he said would help the agency avoid future siphoning from its reserves.
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Clancy DuBos: Landrieu's to-do list

Posted: 9/11/2017 | Gambit Weekly
Mayor Mitch Landrieu no doubt was hoping his last few months in office would be a cakewalk, if not a victory lap. That is not to be. The mayor has a to-do list that seems to get longer with each passing week. Here are some of the top items on that list: 1. Devise a fix for the Sewerage & Water Board (S&WB). Landrieu was basking in the glow of adoring crowds at a conference in Aspen, Colorado Aug. 5, when in New Orleans an intense rainstorm flooded homes, businesses and vehicles in Lakeview, Mid-City, Treme and parts of Gentilly. The mayor returned to sobering news that the S&WB is even more dysfunctional than anyone imagined.
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Federal audit accuses New Orleans of failing to properly manage affordable housing funds

Posted: 9/8/2017 | NOLA.com
New Orleans failed to follow guidelines for use of federal money aimed at increasing the supply of affordable housing in the city, possibly allowing renters to be overcharged, properties to be improperly "flipped" and units to go without inspections, according to an audit by the Inspector General's Office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The report recommends the city be forced to repay the federal government at least $1.8 million, and possibly as much as $7.6 million, if it can’t prove that the lapses did not lead to violations of federal rules.
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Shooting Kills Woman, Hurts Man in New Orleans Apartment

Posted: 9/7/2017 | U.S. News & World Report
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — NEW Orleans police say a shooting inside an apartment has killed a woman and injured a man. Local news outlets report police say the incident occurred Wednesday afternoon in the Desire Development Neighborhood. Police public information officer Ambria Washington says the shooting happened shortly before 5 p.m. The woman suffered gunshot wounds to the head and was pronounced dead at the scene. The man was transported to a local hospital. Police said in statement Housing Authority of New Orleans officers had responded to a complaint from the main office of the apartment complex and found the two victims unresponsive.
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NOPD: Desire neighborhood shooting leaves woman dead, man injured

Posted: 9/6/2017 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans police are investigating a shooting in the Desire neighborhood that left a woman dead and a man injured. Officers were called to the scene Wednesday evening in the 3600 block of Kimi O'Gray Avenue after HANO police received a complaint from the main office of an apartment complex. HANO police then notified Fifth District officers after discovering a female victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the head and a male victim suffering from a gunshot wound inside of an apartment.
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One woman killed in double shooting on Kimi O'Gray Avenue, NOPD says

Posted: 9/6/2017 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — One of two people who were shot Wednesday on Kimi O'Gray Avenue has died, police said. New Orleans police said the double shooting was reported before 5:30 p.m. in the 3600 block of Kimi O'Gray Avenue, near the intersection of Alvar Street and Higgins Boulevard. Investigators said a man and a woman were shot. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The man was taken to a hospital. Additional details have not been released. This is a developing story. Stay with WDSU.com for updates. Editor's Note: The NOPD previously said the two victims were men.
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NOPD probes deadly double shooting in the Desire area

Posted: 9/6/2017 | NOLA.com
A woman is dead and a man wounded following a shooting in the 3600 block of Kimi O'Gray Avenue in the Desire area, New Orleans police said. The shooting victims were found inside an apartment just before 5 p.m. Wednesday, according to an NOPD news release. The woman, who suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was identified as 22-year-old Cierra Green, was pronounced dead on the scene. Police said paramedics took the unidentified man to a hospital for treatment, where he was listed in critical condition late Wednesday.
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Letters: HUD editorial rewrote history

Posted: 8/31/2017 | The Advocate
The Advocate's Aug. 22 editorial, which speaks in praiseworthy terms of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson's recent visit to New Orleans, was an unfortunate rewrite of history. After Katrina, thousands of our city's most vulnerable residents were locked out of their homes in public housing developments and prevented from returning, even though many of the buildings came through the storm relatively unscathed. The Advocate's statement that even these undamaged buildings "needed to go," particularly without citing any evidence that the new model has benefitted New Orleans, is as much a statement about the people who lived in them as the buildings themselves.
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Our Views: Fruits of a long battle over the projects in New Orleans

Posted: 8/22/2017 | The Advocate
For years, public-private developments for affordable housing in New Orleans were resisted as "privatization" of the old housing complexes, many of them devastated after the levees broke during the onset of Hurricane Katrina. Even those that had survived largely undamaged, though, needed to go. Concentrating poverty is a way to exacerbate the ills that it brings. The old projects were romanticized during the debates over the new model, but the reality today is that the public-private developments are working.
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HANO signs off on 'scattered site' redevelopments in Bywater, Marigny

Posted: 8/21/2017 | NOLA.com
The board that governs the Housing Authority of New Orleans has approved the development of 160 new housing units at 18 sites in the Bywater and Marigny neighborhoods, twice as many units as originally planned, agency officials said Monday. HANO recently asked its Houston-based developer for the project, ITEX Group, to double the total in response to what housing advocates have described as a crisis of affordable housing in New Orleans, especially in gentrifying areas.
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Ben Carson, HUD Secty., visits former N.O. housing developments

Posted: 8/21/2017 | Louisiana Weekly
Brain surgeon-turned-Trump administration head of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Dr. Ben Carson, toured two of New Orleans’ revamped housing project developments last Tuesday, along with Governor John Bel Edwards and representatives from both HANO and HUD. The two developments, Bienville Basin (former Iberville projects) and Columbia Parc (formerly the St. Bernard, which flooded after Hurricane Katrina). Since Hurricane Katrina, both have been refurbished inside and out. Both now house mixed-income communities funded through public-private partnerships.
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Ben Carson: New Orleans provides 'perfect example' of public-private housing developments, after 'lessons learned'

Posted: 8/15/2017 | NOLA.com
When imagining how to fix the nation's public housing problems, the head of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department said Tuesday he needs to look no further than public-private developments that have sprouted up in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. At the same time, Ben Carson readily admitted that "lessons have been learned" about the private companies that funded such New Orleans developments not setting aside enough affordable units for the city's low-income residents most in need of shelter.
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HUD Secretary Ben Carson tours New Orleans public housing developments

Posted: 8/15/2017 | WGNO
NEW ORLEANS -- U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson toured two public housing developments in New Orleans today, including the Bienville Basin development in Treme and Columbia Parc on St. Bernard Avenue. Carson was in town to learn more about the public-private partnerships that have allowed these post-Katrina housing developments to come to life. Columbia Parc boasts an early learning center, a community medical clinic, playgrounds, a charter school and several other social programs, all geared toward making its low-income residents more self-sufficient.
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Dr. Ben Carson visits New Orleans to talk housing options, funding

Posted: 8/15/2017 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — On Tuesday, Housing Secretary Dr. Ben Carson toured two mixed-income housing complexes in New Orleans and addressed concerns over budget cuts that could affect those who rely on low income-income housing. Dr. Carson got an inside look at apartments in Bienville Basin, which is the old Iberville projects, and Columbia Parc, which is the old Saint Bernard projects. Carson believes these "mixed-income" complexes are what's working in the city. Mixed-income means some people are on Section 8, while others pay full market value.
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Ben Carson: Money allocated for flood victims will be 'well spent,' but a lot of hurdles still in the way

Posted: 8/14/2017 | The Advocate
Dr. Ben Carson, the U.S. housing secretary, made plenty of cuts and incisions during a renowned career as a neurosurgeon. But it's blockages of another type — regulations Carson said are holding up federal flood aid — he's looking to slice. Shortly after visiting a Denham Springs couple whose home remains a work in progress a year after taking on several feet of water, Carson told reporters that federal money earmarked for flood victims only trickled out over the past year in part because of "a labyrinth" of federal red tape.
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HUD Secretary Ben Carson to Visit Louisiana

Posted: 8/14/2017 | HANO News Alert
On Monday, Secretary Carson will travel to Baton Rouge, La. to visit areas impacted by the historic flooding last year. To help hard-hit areas in several states recover from severe flooding that occurred in 2015 and 2016, Congress appropriated a combined $3 billion in disaster recovery grants. The State of Louisiana is the largest single grantee, receiving a total of $1.7 billion in recovery funds to address the long-term recovery following last year's flooding in Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes.
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HUD dedicates $38 million to fight housing discrimination

Posted: 8/2/2017 | Housing Wire
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Wednesday it is making funds available to fight housing discrimination. HUD announced it is making $38 million available through the department’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program. The grants will be offered through three FHIP funding notices to support a variety of fair housing activities.
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Praising New Orleans’ Post-Hurricane Katrina Comeback Erases Its Displacement of Black Residents

Posted: 7/28/2017 | Rewire.News
New Orleans’ connection to Black people runs marrow-deep. It is as old as the slave ships that docked at its ports; as audible as the trombones of the Rebirth Brass Band; as aromatic as the scent of shrimp gumbo. This connection between history, art, music, food, people, and place paints New Orleans in the collective American imagination as a predominantly Black city.
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NOPD Arrests 81 Suspects with Operation NOLA Clean-Up

Posted: 7/25/2017 | NOPD News
Today NOPD Superintendent Michael S. Harrison announced the results of a massive multi-agency round-up of criminal suspects. “Operation NOLA Clean-Up” resulted in the arrest of 81 offenders and the clearance of 125 arrest warrants. “New Orleans is a safer place today because of this and the efforts of the men and women of New Orleans law enforcement,” said Chief Harrison. “The FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force and the New Orleans branch of the U.S. Marshal's Service were integral partners in the success of this effort, as well as additional law enforcement agencies and the New Orleans EMS team.”
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Can New Orleans’ Anti-Displacement Blueprint Survive Election Season?

Posted: 7/24/2017 | Next City
Last October, Michael Esnault found an eviction notice posted to the door of the New Orleans apartment that had been home for five years. A Vietnam veteran who relies on a housing voucher from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to pay rent, Esnault was devastated. The 69-year-old Louisiana native had struggled to find good housing he could afford before finding his apartment inside the American Can Company Complex overlooking Bayou St. John in the city’s walkable Mid-City neighborhood. Carless and disabled, Esnault had bounced between isolating suburban complexes before happily settling into the friendly, loft-style apartment development.
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New Orleans coalition unveils agenda to aid next mayor, city council, preserve Landrieu's progress

Posted: 7/16/2017 | NOLA.com
For the past seven years, a diverse coalition of civic groups has quietly worked to help chart the course of New Orleans government, getting candidates in municipal elections to agree to pursue specific goals and then tracking how well the winners live up to their promises. But that coalition, Forward New Orleans, could gain new prominence in a mayor's race that is flush with candidates but light on contenders who are household names in city politics.
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Mayor Landrieu Marks New Orleans' Progress over Last Seven Years During Annual State of the City Address

Posted: 7/6/2017 | City of New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS – In his annual State of the City address today at the Civic Theater in the Central Business District, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu marked the progress the city has made over the last seven years in housing, NOPD reform, crime, jobs and recreation. “When we entered office in Spring 2010, our work was cut out for us. Government had become a barrier to progress rather than a catalyst to change. Hundreds of rebuilding projects were unfunded, stalled and in disarray. Our police department teetered on collapse and was set to run out of money in the middle of the year.
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HUD Tenants Protest President’s Affordable Housing Budget Outside of Trump Hotel

Posted: 7/5/2017 | Street Sense
Affordable housing advocates from across the country protested in front of D.C.’s Trump International Hotel on June 27 against the president’s proposed rent increases for tenants and budget cuts to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The National Association of HUD Tenants, an advocacy group comprised of HUD-assisted housing tenants from across the country, organized the protest as part of its conference in D.C., demonstrators said. President Donald Trump has been seeking to cut spending on affordable housing from the allocated $6 billion for fiscal year 2018 to $40 million, according to a budget draft obtained by Politico in May.
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Efforts to build affordable housing in Lower 9th Ward run into problems, criticism

Posted: 7/2/2017 | NOLA.com
Nearly 12 years after Hurricane Katrina, it is still hit-and-miss on any given block in the Lower 9th Ward: an occupied home with a neatly trimmed lawn here, an empty lot sporting chest-high grass and discarded tires there. And right now, the same might be said for City Hall's latest attempt to help jump-start the neighborhood's prospects. The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority has lined up a group of nonprofit and for-profit developers to buy a quarter of the 600 lots it owns in the Lower 9th Ward and build affordable housing on them.
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Low-income residents losing homes as New Orleans rents soar

Posted: 6/30/2017 | Houston Chronicle
NEW ORLEANS - Lower-income renters in New Orleans are facing the loss of their homes and uncertain futures as affordable-housing subsidies start to expire in a city that already has experienced steep rent increases and stagnant wage growth. Michael Esnault, a 69-year-old disabled veteran, says he searched for about three months before finding a new place after the management at his former complex, American Can Apartments, told him his rent would double to $1,400. He was one of dozens at the complex affected by the loss of the subsidies.
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New Orleans developer rehabilitates 26 historic homes for low-income residents

Posted: 6/26/2017 | NOLA Curbed
This past month, New Orleans-based developer Redmellon Restoration and Development placed as a silver medalist in the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence. The development team submitted its Iberville Offsite Homes, a project designated to rehabilitate 26 residences into 46 single- and multi-family homes for low-income residents. The developments are intended for individuals who now live or lived in the Iberville neighborhood pre-Katrina.
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Want to live comfortably in New Orleans? $18 an hour required for renters, report says

Posted: 6/8/2017 | NOLA.com
To rent a two-bedroom home in the New Orleans area and still have enough money left over to live comfortably, the average renter needs to earn more than $18 an hour, according to a study published Thursday that opens another window on the region's affordable housing woes. Renters in many U.S. cities have it even worse. The study, published by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, puts the national "housing wage" at $21.21.
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Housing Out of Reach for Most New Orleans Wage-Earners

Posted: 6/8/2017 | The New Orleans Tribune
In order to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment in New Orleans, renters need to earn $18.54 per hour, according to New Orleans’ 2017 Housing Wage. This was revealed in a national report, Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing, and was jointly released today by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC).
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Housing Secretary Ben Carson shrugs off massive Trump cuts to his own agency before Senate committee

Posted: 6/8/2017 | NY Daily News
Housing Secretary Ben Carson is fine with President Trump's massive cuts to his agency's budget — whatever those are. In Senate committee testimony on Wednesday, the neurosurgeon with no government experience seemed either unconcerned with, or unaware of, the extent of cuts Trump has ordered for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Carson praised one agency, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, as "effective" — with no mention of how Trump's budget proposal calls to eliminate it. He also defended a $3 billion slashing to the Community Development Block Grant program, which funds local housing projects nationwide. Carson said it was not among his agency's "primary goals." The HUD website, though, still features a page praising the program, noting that it has created thousands of jobs and helped more than 200,000 seniors and families.
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After lifeguards threatened, New Orleans city pool closes two days for 'safety of staff, patrons'

Posted: 6/6/2017 | NOLA.com
The city pool at Edith Sampson Playground in the Desire neighborhood was open for less than a day before a threat of violence against female lifeguards prompted officials to shut it down temporarily. City officials said a group of swimmers repeatedly broke the rules by diving into the water head-first on Friday, the day the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission's 15 public pools opened for the summer. The lifeguards eventually told the group to leave, city spokeswoman Erin Burns said. As they left, she said, at least one "threatened to come back and harm the lifeguards."
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Bill to block affordable housing plan in New Orleans moving through Legislature

Posted: 5/27/2017 | NOLA.com
A proposed state law that could scuttle New Orleans’ plan to set aside a portion of the homes in new developments for low-income residents is moving through the Legislature, to the dismay of critics and relief of proponents. The measure, Senate Bill 162, passed the Senate by a vote of 29-9 on May 8 and is scheduled to be considered in a House committee Tuesday, one of its last stops before final passage. The bill's sponsor, Sen. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie, says Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s plan to require “inclusionary zoning” in the city, the formal term for low-income set-asides, will discourage development.
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Here's what Trump's proposed budget means for housing

Posted: 5/23/2017 | Housing Wire
President Donald Trump officially released his proposal for the 2018 federal budget which includes a $6.2 billion cut to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The cut was previously announced in the president’s preliminary budget proposal in March. Now, the full budget proposal released Tuesday gives insight into the allocation of funds for HUD. HUD’s funding would decrease about 13.2% to $40.68 billion under the proposed budget. But how does the department feel about its possible upcoming funding cut? HUD stands behind the budget, saying department would continue to provide rental assistance to 4.5 million households while giving a greater role to state and local governments.
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How a Golf Course Is Reshaping a New Orleans Neighborhood

Posted: 5/19/2017 | The New York Times
NEW ORLEANS — With unbridled enthusiasm, Jonathan Ashford arranged nine plastic foam cups around the rug of the Columbia Parc community center and sank putts on his makeshift course as if his dinner that night depended on it. A day earlier, Jonathan, 9, and his friends in the First Tee of Greater New Orleans, a program that introduces young people to golf, played three holes on the South Course at Bayou Oaks. It is a public golf facility that opened on April 21, several hundred yards from where Jonathan and his mother live. His days of having to putt into coffee cups are numbered.
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New Orleans Artists Take on Real Estate’s Loaded Terms

Posted: 5/19/2017 | Next City
“Auction [awk-shun n], noun Also called public sale. A publically held sale at which property or goods are sold to the highest bidder A system where potential buyers place competitive bids on assets and services. The asset or service in question will sell to the party that places the highest bid. In most cases, sellers will pay a listing fee to the auctioneers, regardless of whether the item actually sells for the desired price." Blights Out, Living Glossary project broadside: Auction
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Is HUD’s Fair Housing Rule Here to Stay?

Posted: 5/2/2017 | Next City
Fair housing advocates, people who want to see a reversal of the racial segregation prevalent in U.S. cities, and fans of open data have kept a wary eye on the Obama-era Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, issued by HUD in 2015, since President Donald Trump was elected in November. AFFH requires municipalities that receive HUD funding to report in detail — using maps and other data — how their housing policies aren’t promoting segregation. Many local housing authorities have since taken up the work, from Philadelphia to New Orleans and, Jake Blumgart reported for Slate in March, AFFH has “already made housing a little bit fairer in some of America’s most segregated places.”
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New Orleans Public Defender Investigator Was Criminally Charged by Prosecutor She Was Up Against In Court

Posted: 5/1/2017 | Reason.com
On the original Law & Order, Jack McCoy, the assistant district attorney who eventually became the district attorney, would sometimes abuse his power by persecuting his legal opponents in order to extract a better negotiating position. It may make for good television (reruns are all over the TV dial) but life isn't supposed to imitate art. A public defender investigator in New Orleans, Taryn Blume, found herself in that kind of position, The Guardian reports.
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Louisiana housing agency revises spending plan after criticism from New Orleans officials

Posted: 4/26/2017 | NOLA.com
The Louisiana agency that helps fund affordable housing developments across the state has revised its annual spending plan amid accusations from New Orleans housing advocates, developers and, most recently, Mayor Mitch Landrieu that the agency prioritized rural parishes over urban ones. Removed from the Louisiana Housing Corp.’s latest plan for doling out housing money is a special consideration the agency long gave to "rural projects," meaning those in smaller cities and less populous parishes.
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HANO board approves contracts for rehabbing 20 'scattered site' properties in Uptown area

Posted: 4/25/2017 | NOLA.com
With little discussion, the board of the Housing Authority of New Orleans on Tuesday unanimously chose four local developers to revamp the second bunch of its so-called “scattered site” developments. The action came almost a year after several board members called for HANO to give local firms more of that kind of work. Firms chosen to redevelop 20 properties in the Uptown area include Project Homecoming, Perez/Harmony Neighborhood Development, JC Patin Group and the team of REO LLC, Nationwide Real Estate Corp. and Doucette & Associated General Contractors.
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Over $12 Million Awarded to Create Affordable Housing Units

Posted: 4/24/2017 | The New Orleans Tribune
Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s Office of Community Development recently awarded more than $12 million to development partners to create and preserve over 700 affordable rental and homeownership units in the city. The announcement comes during Fair Housing Month, which was created to commemorate of the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968. “Since 2010, this administration has made increasing affordable housing options in New Orleans a top priority,” Mayor Landrieu said in a printed statement. “We have created an additional 13,000 rental units for low-income families and more than 17,000 families now receive assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher Program.”
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A year later, HANO's criminal background check policy still not in effect at some developments

Posted: 4/22/2017 | NOLA.com
A policy that makes it easier for ex-convicts to obtain affordable housing in New Orleans is in effect at only some of the privately managed housing developments for which it was intended, drawing criticism from advocates who say officials should do more to force compliance. “If we don’t have any power over the corporate developers, then we can’t impact affordable housing in our city,” said Bruce Reilly of Voice of the Experienced, an advocacy group for ex-offenders. But the four large holdout complexes, run by private entities that aren’t contractually bound to the Housing Authority of New Orleans-approved plan, largely appear to have practices that accomplish the same goal — a scenario HANO officials count as a win.
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How A New Golf Course Will Help Sustain A New Orleans Community, 12 Years After Hurricane Katrina

Posted: 4/21/2017 | Forbes
There’s been a rebirth in New Orleans, where a new municipal golf course – Bayou Oaks -- has opened to replace two 18-hole layouts destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The championship-caliber course about 10 minutes from downtown is the centerpiece of a $24 million project in New Orleans City Park, with aspirations it will be on par with prominent public venues such as Bethpage State Park’s Black Course in New York or Torrey Pines outside San Diego. They picked the right man for the job, as Bayou Oaks architect Rees Jones also overhauled both of those U.S. Open sites.
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How Gentrification Is Killing US Cities and Black Lives

Posted: 4/19/2017 | Truth Out
When tens of thousands of African Americans returned to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, they found a new, unwelcoming city. A city being transformed one hipster coffee shop at a time. Through gentrification, New Orleans leaders have managed to create a smaller, whiter New Orleans, one unwelcoming to those who have called the city home for their entire lives.
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Columbia Parc Elementary school gets nod from City Planning Commission

Posted: 4/17/2017 | Mid-City Messenger
A planned St. Bernard neighborhood school gained city approval last week, effectively closing the “cradle to college” education loop in the Columbia Parc development. The New Orleans City Planning Commissions approved an institutional master plan for Columbia Parc Elementary last week, part of the larger Columbia Parc development on the former St. Bernard housing project land. Columbia Parc includes 685 apartments and townhomes available to all income-levels, including a senior living facility and a nationally-recognized early learning facility called Educare. Educare, which services children up to age five, uses research-based, high-quality practices to help children develop the academic and social-emotional skills essential for success in school and life. The district’s facility is the only Educare in the four states surrounding Louisiana.
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Public-private partnerships make good on Trump's housing promises

Posted: 4/6/2017 | The Hill
During his first address to Congress, President Donald Trump declared that “our neglected inner cities will see a rebirth of hope, safety, and opportunity.” That pledge is more achievable now than ever, if the administration plucks some low hanging policy fruit. In such too-often-written-off cities as Memphis, New Orleans, and Pittsburgh, a pilot public/private neighborhood-turnaround program now called the Choice Neighborhood Initiative has produced major community improvements: a 40 percent increase in employment of public housing residents and 30 percent decrease in crime in Memphis; a 53 percent employment rate of the public housing residents in our mixed-income communities in New Orleans; and, 60 percent of the middle and high school youth from Pittsburgh neighborhoods participating in enrichment programs that keep them on-track for college and employment.
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Profits from City Park’s newest golf course to benefit local foundation, sustain park’s appeal

Posted: 4/4/2017 | Mid-City Messenger
A brand new Mid-City golf course is just weeks from completion, and officials expect revenues to hit more than $1 million during the first year. Those profits, however, are planned for more charitable uses. City Park’s newest championship golf course, called Bayou Oaks, opens to the public April 21. The $24 million course will be managed by the Bayou District Foundation, which oversees the North Course in the park as well. Previously, Bayou District Foundation redeveloped the St. Bernard Public Housing Development to create Columbia Parc in 2010. The 53-acre site is now part of a Bayou District that includes an early education school, a planned K-8 public charter school and a college prep public high school two blocks away. J.T. Hannan, director of public and governmental affairs, said the district includes families from three income levels – low income, public income and market rate – which diversifies the housing complex.
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Census numbers show slight growth in New Orleans population

Posted: 3/23/2017 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - New census estimates deliver mixed news about the population of the City of New Orleans. "The population of Orleans and the metro continue to grow which is good. There are many cities around the country that are shrinking," said Data Center Executive Director and chief demographer Allison Plyer. New population estimates show Orleans Parish had 391,495 residents as of July 2016, compared to 389,738 the year before. "Looking at the specific components of growth New Orleans has had more births than deaths," said Plyer. Still, that is only part of the city's population trends' picture. "Substantial international in-migration, but more domestic out-migration, so more people are leaving the city than coming to the city when we just look at U.S. residents," said Plyer. She discussed some of the likely factors for the out-migration.
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Trump's proposed budget would mean 'devastating' cuts for New Orleans, officials say

Posted: 3/16/2017 | NOLA.com
Looking at the effect that President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would potentially have on New Orleans, where federal programs set for the chopping block support housing, social services, transportation and other needs, Deputy Mayor Ryan Berni had just one word for the plan: “Insanity.” The budget proposal released Thursday is the first step in a process that will be refined over the coming months, with a more detailed spending plan expected in May and many changes likely in Congress. But the outline so far would eliminate many programs the city and others around the country rely on.
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Fair Housing Still Has a Chance Under Trump

Posted: 3/14/2017 | The Slate
Among the landmark legislative acts of the Civil Rights era, the Fair Housing Act of 1968 is the stepchild, rarely enforced with rigor by presidential administrations of either political party. Since Jim Crow fell, few American politicians have championed the cause of desegregation at the federal level. Even among liberals concerned with housing segregation, the political toll of addressing the immense harm wrought by racial isolation—and the disproportionate benefits reaped by affluent white neighborhoods—has simply been seen as too explosive.
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New championship golf course set to open soon in New Orleans' City Park

Posted: 3/13/2017 | NOLA.com
More than a decade after it was originally proposed, a championship golf course is set to open at City Park next month, a project aimed not only at offering higher-level play to the public but also at helping to fund both the park itself and a mixed-income residential community nearby. The Bayou Oaks South Course will join the shorter North Course, which reopened in 2008, three years after the entire City Park golf complex was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
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Will federal lawmakers turn back the clock on fair housing?

Posted: 3/13/2017 | Louisiana Weekly
When future generations read the history of the nation’s first Black President, I believe there will be greater acknowledgement of his administration’s significant accomplishments. For now, however, an undeniable strategic war is underway to dismantle the very progress President Obama achieved. General market media have extensively reported on reforms or repeals of the Affordable Care Act, Wall Street reform and the future of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It is equally important to share that a key Obama regulation that spoke to the future of fair housing is again under assault on Capitol Hill.
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I-10: Ten Things to Know in New Orleans this Week (March 7, 2017)

Posted: 3/6/2017 | Gambit Weekly
1. THE SPEECH THAT WASN'T GIVEN Last week, the White House invited the presidents of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to the signing of an executive order President Donald Trump said signaled his administration's commitment to HBCUs (with few specifics). Much of the meeting was overshadowed by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos' remarks that HBCUs were exemplars of "school choice" — ignoring that many were set up to accept black scholars during segregation.
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Carson emphasizes fairness in first remarks to HUD staff, warning there will be ‘no favorites for anybody, no extra’

Posted: 3/6/2017 | The Washington Post
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said that he would place a “big emphasis on fairness for everybody” during his first remarks to HUD’s staff Monday, warning that there will be “no favorites for anybody, no extra” in his approach to housing policy — rousing lingering uncertainties about how public assistance programs will be managed under his watch. “One of the things you will notice in this department under my leadership is that there will be a very big emphasis on fairness for everybody,” Carson told the staff. “Everything that we do, every policy; no favorites for anybody, no extra for anybody, but complete fairness for everybody. Because that is what the founders of this nation had in mind, and if you read the Constitution, it becomes very clear that that was the goal.”
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Ben Carson compares slaves to immigrants in first address as HUD secretary

Posted: 3/6/2017 | Chicago Tribune
"That's what America is about. A land of dreams and opportunity. There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less," said Carson, speaking extemporaneously as he paced the room with a microphone. "But they, too, had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great-grandsons, great-granddaughters might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land." His comments were broadcast live to all of HUD's regional field offices as well as to the public.
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Ex-Trump rival Ben Carson wins Senate OK as housing chief

Posted: 3/2/2017 | New Orleans City Business
Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who challenged Donald Trump for the GOP presidential nomination, won Senate confirmation Thursday to join Trump’s Cabinet as housing secretary. Six Democrats and one independent joined 51 Republicans in voting for Carson to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Carson has never held public office and has no housing policy experience. But Republicans have praised the life story of a man who grew up in inner-city Detroit with a single mother who had a third-grade education. When his nomination cleared the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee in January, Democrats said Carson would not have been their choice, but they welcomed his promises to address lead hazards in housing, homelessness and other issues. He was approved unanimously in the committee.
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HANO to hire contractors on long-stalled third phase of Guste redevelopment

Posted: 3/1/2017 | NOLA.com
The Housing Authority of New Orleans is scheduled Thursday to vote on hiring new contractors for the $43 million Guste Phase III housing complex redevelopment, the most significant move yet in a project that's been stalled for almost two years. HANO’s board will also decide on an outside firm to oversee construction progress after the agency staffer in charge of that work left the authority last year. Guste III, a 155-unit housing project in Central City that was supposed to be finished in 2015, is the last of three phases of renovation to the old Melpomene housing development, later renamed the William J. Guste Apartments.
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Top Construction Projects: 5. New Orleans Public Housing

Posted: 2/20/2017 | New Orleans City Business
The Iberville public housing redevelopment is concluding its fourth phase and jumping into the fifth and sixth phases this year of a project that will result in 686 housing units in the 23-acre Iberville neighborhood, built in 1942 and located adjacent to the French Quarter. The units consist of government-subsidized public housing, workforce housing for lower middle-income families and market-rate housing. In August 2011, HANO and the city of New Orleans were granted $30.5 million as part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Choice Neighborhoods Initiative to jump start the transformation of Iberville.
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In New Orleans, Jobs and Housing Take Priority Over Emergency Savings

Posted: 2/13/2017 | Next City
If you’re looking for success stories that demonstrate just how impactful the Foundation for Louisiana and its partners have been throughout the New Orleans area, just talk to the man in charge. Flozell Daniels Jr., president and CEO, swears by the work his organization does because it gave one of his family members a second chance.
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NOLA ranks in top 10 healthiest housing markets in Louisiana

Posted: 2/9/2017 | NOLA Curbed
When shopping for a home, the health of the housing market can make or break the potential sale of a home. In its third annual Healthiest Housing Markets Study, SmartAsset researchers analyzed the average number of years residents live in homes, home values, ease of sale and costs of ownership to determine the health of housing markets throughout the United States. Out of the top 10 cities in Louisiana, New Orleans ranked No. 8.
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Mayor Landrieu Announces Critical Steps in Tornado Clean Up Effort

Posted: 2/9/2017 | City of New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced that critical steps in the clean-up efforts have begun for tornado damage in New Orleans East. The City, Governor’s Office, FEMA and the Small Business Administration formed four teams to canvass the entire impacted area and conduct a preliminary damage assessment to determine the eligibility of a federal disaster declaration. The City has set a 30-day timeline to clear all debris from the impacted area. This will be completed in three passes by the Department of Sanitation and local, national, non-profit and faith-based organization volunteers.
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Ground broken on project at former Sacred Heart Church, to feature mainly units for low-income renters

Posted: 2/8/2017 | NOLA.com
After being shuttered for decades, the former Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church on St. Bernard Avenue is set to be redeveloped into an apartment complex serving mainly low-income residents. The project, which was first proposed in 2015, officially broke ground Wednesday. The 53-unit complex, which will also include 4,200 square feet of retail space, is scheduled to be completed next year. It is about a block off North Claiborne Avenue. "This project will bring critical affordable rental housing stock to a core and historic neighborhood,” said City Councilman Jared Brossett, who represents the area.
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Donald Trump, GOP tax plans are hurting some affordable-housing deals in New Orleans

Posted: 2/6/2017 | NOLA.com
One of Donald Trump's signature campaign promises — one he hasn't even delivered on yet — may already be complicating efforts to create more low-income housing in New Orleans. The president has pledged to slash the corporate tax rate. And developers say that's taking some of the attractiveness out of federal tax credits they had been relying upon to help finance new affordable housing units. The tax credit program works like this: The federal government, through various state agencies, awards tax credits to firms that agree to build affordable housing.
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To Keep Their Artists, Cities Explore Affordable Housing

Posted: 2/1/2017 | Huffington Post
NEW ORLEANS — At 75, Deacon John Moore considers himself one of the lucky ones: The scion of three generations of music-making Creoles, he’s been able to sustain himself with his guitar, raise a family, buy a house. Most other musicians here, he says, aren’t so fortunate. He’s tooling around the streets of Tremé — one of the nation’s oldest black neighborhoods and the birthplace of jazz — in his ancient Volvo, pointing out all the gentrified houses, the ones with the jacked up rents. Everybody wants to live here now, he said.
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As many as 18 HANO employees terminated because of budget constraints

Posted: 2/1/2017 | NOLA.com
As many as 18 employees at the Housing Authority of New Orleans were shown the door Wednesday, part of an overhaul driven by reduced federal funding. Officials began reassigning terminated employees’ cases to staffers spared from the cuts on Wednesday, a process that is expected to last about a week. The laid-off employees, totaling between 14 and 18, represent almost a fifth of HANO's Section 8 workforce, which handles payments to people living in privately owned buildings but using HANO vouchers to pay the rent.
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HANO cuts 22 workers from Section 8 division

Posted: 2/1/2017 | New Orleans City Business
Twenty-two Housing Authority of New Orleans employees have been laid off, part of a department overhaul driven by budget cuts. The New Orleans Advocate reports officials began reassigning terminated employees’ cases to staffers spared from the cuts Wednesday, a process that’s expected to last about a week. The laid off workers represent more than a fifth of HANO’s Section 8 workforce. HANO Executive Director Gregg Fortner told the agency’s board Tuesday that had the program been left untouched, it would have been more than $1 million over budget as far as staffing.
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Report: New Orleans rents still on the rise; living conditions still substandard for many

Posted: 1/31/2017 | WGNO
NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Thousands of New Orleans renters are still living in substandard housing, and the average rent for a one-bedroom house or apartment inched up to $1,000 in 2015. The numbers were released in a new report from the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, the city’s leading nonprofit for fair housing enforcement, education and home ownership protection.
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New Orleans police searching for $30K in stolen HANO lawn care equipment

Posted: 1/31/2017 | NOLA.com
Police are on the hunt for more than $30,000 worth of lawn care equipment stolen from a New Orleans East warehouse owned by the Housing Authority of New Orleans. The theft occurred on Christmas Eve, police said Tuesday. At around 7 p.m., a white Dodge pickup was seen on surveillance video driving away from the 7800 block of Townsend Place with lawn equipment in its bed. The car is believed to be a 2000 to 2006 Dodge truck. It had black racing stripes, a missing tailgate and a tool box attached to its rear, police said.
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Data show many New Orleans renters still plagued by unsafe living conditions, report says

Posted: 1/31/2017 | NOLA.com
More than 4,000 renters in New Orleans reported major problems with the electricity, heating, plumbing or upkeep of their homes in 2015, according to an analysis being released Tuesday by a local housing advocacy group. In about 9 percent of rented homes, there were signs of rats, while many had mold, increasing the risk of respiratory illness. "Despite steep increases in rental income for landlords, families who rent in New Orleans still live with leaks, mold and rodents,” said Maxwell Ciardullo of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, the group behind the report.
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Landlords say new regulations unnecessary; existing code sufficient

Posted: 1/24/2017 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - There is no shortage of renters who say they are getting a bad deal in terms of living conditions. "In the townhouse where I lived there was a hole in the ceiling so birds, pigeons, rodents, whatever would come in and we would hear them at night. The faucets would steadily run, causing mold, especially in the kitchen," said Trina Lackey. Last week, members of a City Council committee approved an ordinance designed to better protect tenants. All landlords would be required to register their properties with the city and pass inspections every three years. But landlords said new regulations are not necessary.
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A new movement to treat troubled children as ‘sad, not bad’

Posted: 1/25/2017 | The Hechinger Report
On dress-down days, Sherlae’s outfits almost always include sequins and sparkles. Whenever she passes a window, she lights up, in a way that matches her sunny personality and big, dimpled smile. But for years, because of strife at home, she had to force herself to look cheerful each morning as she walked into her school, Lawrence D. Crocker College Prep in uptown New Orleans. “I always try to put on a happy, smiling — not sad — face,” said Sherlae, 13, whose middle name is used here to protect her privacy.
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Federal Workers Told To Halt External Communication In First Week Under Trump

Posted: 1/25/2017 | Huffington Post
WASHINGTON ― Multiple federal agencies have told their employees to cease communications with members of Congress and the press, sources have told The Huffington Post. The freeze has startled aides on the Hill and people at those agencies, who worry that it could abruptly upend current operations and stifle work and discussions that routinely take place between branches of government.
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Senate Banking Committee unanimously votes to approve Ben Carson as HUD Secretary

Posted: 1/24/2017 | Housing Wire
The Committee On Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs unanimously voted to approve Ben Carson as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Tuesday morning as his nomination process nears the final leg. From here, Carson’s nomination moves to the Senate floor for consideration. The date is up to Republican leaders and not yet set. Earlier this month on Jan. 12, the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee held Carson’s nomination hearing to question his on his ability to lead HUD.
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American Can's Affordable Units Are Expiring Now, But Thousands More Will Follow City-Wide

Posted: 1/24/2017 | WWNO
Late last year, the American Can Apartments delivered eviction notices to many low-income tenants. The 268-unit complex near Bayou St. John had dozens of affordable units set aside for low-income people when it opened, 15 years ago. That was part of an agreement with the city. But that agreement has now expired. And as Nina Feldman reports for WWNO, the American Can evictions are not an isolated thing. Thousands of affordably priced housing units, owned by private developers, are set to expire in coming years.
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The count: the number of affordable low-income units in New Orleans that will return to market-rate apartments by 2031

Posted: 1/23/2017 | Gambit Weekly
Following the debate over expiring tax credits at the American Can Apartments and how to maintain housing for low- and middle-income renters who depend on the affordability of those units, housing advocacy groups say there likely are more debates to come. American Can relied on $29 million in public funds for tax-exempt bond financing for 53 units. Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration worked with owners and tenants to ensure residents could stay there through March. But tax credits or subsidies at another 1,200 units will expire by 2021. That number will reach 6,000 by 2031. Landrieu's five-year plan for affordable housing promises to "build or preserve" 7,500 affordable housing units by 2021.
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Critics believe Florida Ave. roadway would help St. Bernard at the expense of the 9th Ward

Posted: 1/23/2017 | Louisiana Weekly
A Florida Avenue road project, conceived before Katrina, will bring hardship to the Ninth Ward and adjacent areas of New Orleans, while helping neighboring St. Bernard Parish, critics say. The federal- and state-funded plan would create a freeway through the Ninth and Eighth Wards on the Florida corridor for trucks traveling from St. Bernard Port. The feasibility of this plan is being assessed now, and construction could begin in 2021. Last fall, two public meetings on the proposal were held in the Ninth Ward, and last Thursday New Salem Baptist Church in the Upper Ninth hosted an airing of views.
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Double shooting in New Orleans leaves 15-year-old dead

Posted: 1/22/2017 | The Washington Times
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Police say a 15-year-old is dead and a 13-year-old wounded after a shooting Saturday night. The Times-Picayune (https://bit.ly/2jNGusg ) reports that just before 6 p.m. Saturday police responded to a call about a shooting at the intersection of Desire and North Galvez Streets. The police news release says they found the dead 15-year-old on the sidewalk. He’d been shot multiple times. The other teenager was brought by a private vehicle to a hospital. Albert Greenleaf, who lives near where the shooting happened, tells the newspaper he was on his way to pick up a pizza when he heard about eight shots.
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Fair housing advocates push to weed out slum lords in New Orleans

Posted: 1/18/2017 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — Dozens of fair housing advocates went to New Orleans City Hall in support of new measures that would hold slum lords responsible for substandard properties. Led by a brass band, fair housing advocates second lined into City Hall. Many said substandard living conditions need to change because some properties are lined with mold, roaches and rats. The group said many rental units do not cater to people with disabilities like Ashley Volion who suffers from cerebral palsy. "I'm here because renters like myself, I feel there have to be more standards," said Volion. So do some members of the New Orleans City Council. "This is the right thing to do, and the right time to do it," said District B Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell.
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Council committee approves rental registry, though many concerns remain

Posted: 1/18/2017 | The Lens
The New Orleans City Council’s Community Development Committee on Wednesday voted unanimously to advance to the full council a proposed rental registry ordinance that requires units to be inspected, with results reported to the public. Though all council members said they wanted to address substandard housing in the city, the vote came in spite of serious reservations about the current ordinance. Some council members even questioned whether the ordinance was constitutional. Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell, who is sponsoring the ordinance with Councilman Jason Williams, said there are several amendments being discussed, but she did not offer any details. “We are going to continue to work on this,” she said.
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Ben Carson Doesn’t Have Much Interest in the Agency He Will Run

Posted: 1/13/2017 | The Nation
“Ben Carson Urges Ending Reliance on Welfare in Bid to Be Housing Chief,” read the headline in The New York Times. This is like saying “James Mattis Urges Investment in National Parks in Bid to Run the Pentagon.” One has little to do with the other. The Department of Housing and Urban Development does not manage Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds. Its work mostly features distribution of Section 8 housing vouchers, a phrase that didn’t come up in Carson’s confirmation hearing on Thursday. In fact, there was more talk at the hearing about the buffalo in Jon Tester’s office (which Carson admired) than the adequacy of low-income housing assistance in America.
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After delays, DA's office abruptly drops charges against investigator accused of posing as staffer

Posted: 1/3/2017 | NOLA.com
Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's office on Tuesday unexpectedly dropped charges against Taryn Blume, a former investigator for the Public Defenders Office who had been accused of posing as a staffer for the DA's Office. Blume was facing up to two years in prison if she was convicted. Her trial was scheduled for Tuesday, but the case was dropped after Criminal District Court Judge Tracey Flemings-Davillier refused to allow prosecutors another continuance. It would have been the fourth delay.
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Tenants fight eviction at American Can apartments

Posted: 1/3/2017 | Louisiana Weekly
The Grinch that stole Christmas, the ACV VII, LLC (Audubon Communities), visited low- to moderate-income tenants at its upscale American Can Apartments on Orleans Avenue in October 2016. The Grinch delivered eviction notices to disabled, and elderly tenants, families with children, and people of color, who must be out of their apartments by December 31, 2016. At least 53 families may be at risk for eviction.
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Dozens evicted from low-income units at American Can complex

Posted: 12/21/2016 | WWLTV
NEW ORLEANS -- Michael Esnault and his partner Anne Tucker have lived in the American Can Apartments building for the past six years, but they’ll soon be former tenants – through no choice of their own. They recently found a note taped to their door notifying them that they had until the end of December to vacate their apartment. "(It’s) definitely a slap in the face," Esnault said. "I always paid the bills on time and everything else. What got me is the corporate greed." Dozens of families are losing their leases at the Mid-City apartment building as the operators phase out all of their subsidized and low-income units. Esnault and Tucker are leasing one of the 53 units in the building set aside for low- and fixed-income families.
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Low-income residents being ousted from New Orleans' American Can Co. affordable-housing complex

Posted: 12/20/2016 | NOLA.com
For Mike Esnault, the American Can Co. apartments seemed like a lifeline. The Orleans Avenue complex, which got generous public financing in exchange for setting aside some units for low- and moderate-income residents, provided the disabled Vietnam veteran with a home he could afford on his fixed income when he moved in five years ago. But with the complex's affordable-housing agreement set to expire in January, Esnault and dozens of other residents have been told to clear out — presumably to make way for higher-end tenants paying much higher rents. For many of those residents, who are largely on fixed incomes, disabled or elderly and who include a 95-year-old woman, it’s not clear where they will go.
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New Orleans’ public housing will be smoke-free by third-quarter 2018

Posted: 12/19/2016 | Louisiana Weekly
Smoking has been restricted for awhile by public housing authorities in San Antonio, Houston, Seattle, Detroit, Boston and other cities. In August 2018, a nationwide ban inside PHA residences, announced by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development in late November, goes into effect. The Housing Authority of New Orleans and managers of the city’s public complexes are getting ready for smokers to head outside.
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Revitalizing America's Distressed Neighborhoods

Posted: 12/18/2016 | Georgetown Public Policy Review
Neighborhoods have acted as the bedrock of American society for hundreds of years. As our closest social environments, they can shape how people interact and contribute within society. If properly invested in, they can be epicenters for upward mobility for families and small businesses. Unfortunately, there are neighborhoods across America falling short of their full potential. Policymakers need to act now to help revitalize some of America’s most distressed neighborhoods.
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New Orleans requests advance notice of judge's decision regarding Confederate monuments

Posted: 12/18/2016 | Louisiana Record
NEW ORLEANS — Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration wrote a letter to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals asking for 24 hours advance notice before it releases a decision in the Confederate monument removal case. City Attorney Rebecca Dietz is asking the court to provide a warning to the city once a decision is reached, citing concerns over violence and protests potentially affecting the ability of the city’s police force to properly protect the public.
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New Orleans rated least affordable for renters

Posted: 12/15/2016 | NOLA Curbed
While New Orleans is known for its architecture, food and music, It’s not known for being affordable. At least not anymore. Nearly 57 percent of renters in the New Orleans Metro area reported they were burdened by rent cost. In the study conducted by Apartment List, who evaluated data between 2005 to 2015, New Orleans ranked No. 90 out of 100 of the largest metro cities in the United States in its rent affordability. Between 2005 and 2015, rent in New Orleans increased by 18.6 percent. In that same time period, renter income in the New Orleans metro area increased on average by 14.6 percent.
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NYCHA Stops Discriminating Against New Yorkers With Criminal Records

Posted: 12/13/2016 | The Village Voice
A few months after he got out of prison, Darnell Smith found himself hiding in the closet of his family’s apartment. Because he had a criminal record, he was barred from living with his wife and sons in the St. Nicholas Houses in Harlem, and the New York City Housing Authority would send workers to check if he was there. They would knock on the door, hold up a photo of him, and search the apartment. If the workers found him, the whole family could be evicted. When NYCHA showed up, Smith would jump in the closet and try not to make a sound.
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Jackson Square ceremony honors sacrifice of service

Posted: 12/11/2016 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — A tribute honoring first responders filled Jackson Square on Sunday. Orleans Parish sheriff's deputies, Housing Authority of New Orleans officers, New Orleans police officers, New Orleans firefighters and paramedics circled the square in a ceremony to recognize the shared sacrifice the men and women face every day. New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Tim McConnell said the ceremony is an opportunity to recognize first responders and their families. “We thank the families because they really are the ones that make a huge sacrifice, too,” McConnell said. “I think that people tend to take for granted what first responders do.”
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Trump taps Ben Carson for HUD secretary

Posted: 12/5/2016 | CNN
(CNN)Ben Carson will be nominated as the next secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Trump transition team announced Monday. "I am thrilled to nominate Dr. Ben Carson as our next Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development," President-elect Donald Trump said in a statement. "Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities."
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READesign Technology Lab Now Open in New Orleans

Posted: 11/21/2016 | Silicon Bayou News
Through a grant from Capital One Bank, the brand new READesign® Technology Lab is officially open in New Orleans. The lab will provide community residents–students and seniors–to state-of-the-art technology. The lab was launched in partnership between The Heart of America Foundation’s READesign® team, the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) and Fischer Community Center, a senior care center. Two existing computer labs now house large-screen monitors, a 3D printer and scanner, color laser printers and copiers, and digital and video cameras, along with other enhancements.
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New technology lab headed to Algiers

Posted: 11/14/2016 | New Orleans City Business
A new technology lab is coming to the Algiers neighborhood this week. The William J. Fischer Community center at 1400 Semmes Ave. will celebrate its new lab on Thursday. Funded by Capital One Bank, the project transformed two computer labs into a state-of-the-art technology center featuring large-screen monitors, a 3D printer and scanner, color laser printers and copiers and digital and video cameras, among other enhancements. The READesign® Technology Lab will provide community residents with on-demand access to business and financial literacy tools, according to a news release.
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Louisiana Tax Commission member resigns over $140,000 in unpaid property taxes

Posted: 11/11/2016 | NOLA.com
A New Orleans real estate appraiser has resigned from the Louisiana Tax Commission in the wake of media reports that he owed the city more than $140,000 for not paying taxes on a piece of property for almost three decades. Gov. John Bel Edwards this week asked for and received the resignation of Jimmie Thorns Jr., whom he had appointed to the Tax Commission in February. The facts that the taxes were local ones and were owed by a now-bankrupt company allowed the debt to slip by even though appointees go through reviews and background checks, a spokesman for the Edwards administration said.
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Zurik: State tax commissioner owes $140K in property taxes

Posted: 11/10/2016 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - What would happen to you if you didn't pay your property taxes for 30 years? For one New Orleans resident, the answer seems to be absolutely nothing. In fact, his delinquency didn't stop him from getting a plum appointment to a state board. We've drawn upon the expertise of Tulane law professor Joel Friedman for many of our investigative stories. He says our new one may top the list. "This is one of the most egregious situations I've ever seen," Friedman says. "To me it is absolutely shocking... It certainly smells less than good."
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Plans to push for more affordable housing in New Orleans mostly lauded

Posted: 11/8/2016 | NOLA.com
Casting it as a possible solution to New Orleans’ need for more affordable housing, a few dozen people on Tuesday lauded the idea of requiring or at least giving incentives to developers to include cheaper homes in plans for new residential developments. A handful of others cautioned against the move, saying that building more cheap houses won’t fix all housing woes and that any changes, if not properly monitored, could negatively affect their neighborhoods. Both sides aired their views at a hearing before the City Planning Commission, the agency the City Council has directed to consider the matter.
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Climate Change Is Already Forcing Americans to Move

Posted: 10/31/2016 | Bloomberg
Loraine Helber runs the public housing authority in Punta Gorda, Florida, a city of 18,000 just north of Fort Myers at the mouth of the Peace River. In March, she hopes to celebrate a milestone: the opening of new apartments for the elderly, replacing about 80 units destroyed by the hurricane. But the storm that destroyed the original public housing wasn't Hurricane Matthew; it was Hurricane Charley, 12 years ago. Neither the insurance company nor the federal government provided enough money to rebuild what was lost. Construction could proceed only once Bank of America, through a subsidiary, invested in the new building to get a tax write-off.
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Who killed Josh Woodruff? Family uses billboard in search of hit-and-run driver

Posted: 10/26/2016 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — The family of Josh Woodruff is using an electronic billboard in New Orleans to ask onlookers, "Who killed him?" Woodruff was hit by a car around 3 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Investigators said his body was dragged underneath the vehicle for several miles. The billboard is at South Robertson and Clio streets. Woodruff’s family hopes the billboard will help them find justice. "Think if it was you, your brother, your mother, or your child and you knew no one was coming forward,” Darlene Cusanza, president of Crimestoppers said. “How would you feel?”
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Cheaper homes? New Orleans mulling new affordable housing requirements

Posted: 10/25/2016 | NOLA.com
In another move to boost New Orleans’ stock of affordable housing, the City Council has directed the City Planning Commission to study whether developers should be required or given incentives to include cheaper homes in plans for new residential developments. Such a move would help ensure that New Orleans has a “smart housing mix,” one with enough homes that most residents can afford, the plan’s backers said. It would also help lower-income residents gain access to well-off neighborhoods that are closer to jobs and other services.
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Darryl Gissel says grassroots and nonpartisanship are keys to being a successful Baton Rouge Mayor

Posted: 10/18/2016 | The Advocate
Darryl Gissel surprised himself when he decided one Sunday night this spring to run for mayor of Baton Rouge. An often divided Metro Council was divided yet again. This time it was over whether to create a misdemeanor jail targeted at people with high numbers of outstanding warrants for mostly minor infractions. Supporters argued such a court would shrink a backlog of some 150,000-plus traffic and other arrest warrants that had piled up. Opponents countered that the jail could devolve into “debtor’s prison” for poor people who couldn’t pay their fines. Unable to reach a consensus, the court was shelved, and eventually the Legislature repealed the fee that funded the whole concept.
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New Orleans homeownership earns a ‘B,’ housing report card shows

Posted: 10/10/2016 | Louisiana Weekly
Through help from its public agencies, the organization HousingNOLA is halfway to its goal of adding 3,000 affordable housing units in New Orleans by 2018. That is the most recent statistic released last week in a new report that touts partnerships between community leaders and public, private and nonprofit organizations working to solve New Orleans’ affordable housing crisis. In December, HousingNOLA promised to work with Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration to create 5,000 homes by 2021, as part of a 10-year, multiple-increment plan that would help fight housing inequity by maximizing scarce government resources and inspiring investors with the private sector.
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'Low-barrier' homeless shelter in New Orleans facing early opposition for one key reason

Posted: 10/3/2016 | NOLA.com
In a move hailed as the linchpin in New Orleans’ long-term plan to end homelessness, city officials are finalizing plans for a “low-barrier” homeless shelter — but the shelter’s proposed location already is drawing opposition. The new shelter, which Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration plans to build at 3101 Erato St. in the B.W. Cooper neighborhood, is just two blocks away from two public school buildings. They are Sylvanie Williams College Prep and the shuttered Booker T. Washington High School, which is expected to reopen in the near future.
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'It's becoming an epidemic,' New Orleans affordable housing official says

Posted: 9/30/2016 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans is booming, attracting people from all over. Problem is, it's difficult for some people who live in New Orleans to find affordable housing. Thursday a public meeting was held for people hoping to find affordable housing. Housing Nola said in 2014 average rent was $907. It rose in 2015 to about $947 and it's getting higher. Angela Copeland is a single mom in New Orleans looking for more affordable housing. She has four kids and lives in a three bedroom home with one bathroom. "It's very emotional when you hear that going on because especially when you're a single parent,” Copeland said. Housing Nola said New Orleans ranks second in the nation for the percentage of renters paying more than half of their income on housing. "It's becoming an epidemic across the country,” Housing Nola director Andreanecia Morris said. “Here in New Orleans it's especially jarring because our wages have not kept up and costs have increased because of Katrina."
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New Orleans has added almost 2,000 affordable housing units in 2016

Posted: 9/29/2016 | NOLA.com
Less than a year after housing advocates pledged to work with Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration to create an additional 3,000 “affordable housing opportunities” in New Orleans by 2018, the city is more than halfway to that goal, according to a report released Thursday. Almost 2,000 affordable housing units have been created or preserved in the past year, the report says. What's more, city officials have either completed or are working on several steps that could reduce housing costs for other New Orleanians, it says.
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General contractor on Iberville housing revamp to be replaced, officials confirm

Posted: 9/21/2016 | NOLA.com
The general contractor on the massive redevelopment of the former Iberville public housing complex will soon be replaced, officials have confirmed. Woodward Design + Build, which was hired by master developer HRI Properties to handle the first four construction phases of the project, was not selected to oversee the fifth and sixth phases. Instead, Landis Construction Co. will take on that role. “HRI issued a (request for proposals) ... to several local general contractors,” said Carolyn Mayo, an HRI spokeswoman. “After reviewing the proposals and conducting interviews, Landis was selected as the lowest (priced) qualified respondent.”
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I-10: Ten Things to Know in New Orleans this Week (Sept. 13, 2016)

Posted: 9/12/2016 | Gambit Weekly
1. NRA VS. CITY COUNCIL Gun owners who live in New Orleans must report lost or stolen firearms to police within 48 hours, according to an ordinance the City Council passed Sept. 8. NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison said many missing firearms are used in violent crimes, and while many guns are reported missing by their owners, the ordinance would further encourage people to do so. Failure to report a stolen gun that's been used in a crime carries a $250 fine.
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HANO pulls $1.9 million from surplus to balance $217 million budget, plans cuts

Posted: 9/10/2016 | NOLA.com
The Housing Authority of New Orleans plans to pull $1.9 million from the agency’s surplus to shore up its $217 million budget for fiscal 2017 — its second dip into its fund balance in two years. The fiscal year begins Oct. 1. To avoid more raids on what is now a $15.6 million reserve, HANO Executive Director Gregg Fortner said he plans to restructure the agency over the next year. “HANO’s management intend(s) to review operations, restructure and re-align programs and supporting personnel to achieve costs savings and to promote overall efficiency of HANO in the coming fiscal year and ensure financial stability,” the agency said in a statement.
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How it happened, how to fix it: Plan set to combat New Orleans segregation, gentrification

Posted: 9/3/2016 | NOLA.com
Long divided by race and class, New Orleans has become even more segregated in recent years, and residents in majority-black neighborhoods often have the least access to jobs, affordable housing and other opportunities, according to a recently released plan that city officials say could help solve those issues. The plan, mandated under a new U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development rule, seeks to ameliorate the woes of minority communities by investing in neighborhoods that have long been less well off than others. Separately, it seeks to make it easier for residents of those areas to move to whiter, more affluent areas that have prospered.
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Has Louisiana Changed, Post-Katrina?

Posted: 8/29/2016 | Jstor Daily
Eleven years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the city and some of its citizens remain in precarious recovery. Then this month Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency due to record-breaking rainfall in Louisiana. The worst US natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy, the flood has re-submerged thousands of rebuilt homes and businesses. New Orleans has always been a tale of two cities, the wealth and prosperity of the French Quarter standing in stark contrast to the destitution and poverty of the Lower Ninth Ward. According to Clyde Woods, a social disaster was in the making well before the hurricane. Pre-Katrina, the Lower Ninth Ward was an epicenter of urban poverty, and the post-Katrina era further illuminated what Woods identified as trap economics. Woods describes the ways police entrapped the population living in tents and the Louisiana Superdome at the time:
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White New Orleans Has Recovered from Hurricane Katrina. Black New Orleans Has Not.

Posted: 8/29/2016 | Bill Moyers
96,000. That’s how many fewer African-Americans are living in New Orleans now than prior to Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall 11 years ago today. Nearly 1 in 3 black residents have not returned to the city after the storm. It was the worst urban disaster in modern US history. Eighty percent of New Orleans lay under water after the epic collapse of the area’s flood-protection system — more than 110,000 homes and another 20,000 plus businesses, along with most of the city’s schools, police and fire stations, electrical plans and its public transportation system. Unlike last year, when the 10th anniversary meant satellite trucks clogging the streets, this anniversary is unlikely to draw much media attention — which would be a shame if I thought the coverage last year was any good.
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Bellwether Enterprise Arranges $31.6M HUD Loan for Workforce Housing Construction in New Orleans

Posted: 8/29/2016 | Rebusiness Online
NEW ORLEANS — Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital LLC has arranged a $31.6 million HUD 221(d)(4) loan for the construction of Village of Versailles, a 50-building, 400-unit affordable and workforce housing community in New Orleans. Prior to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the site of the Village of Versailles housed two 200-unit, HUD-insured apartment developments. Set to open in late 2017, Village of Versailles will feature two community buildings and a leasing office. Jon Killough of Bellwether Enterprise’s Alabama office arranged the 40-year loan with 22 months of interest-only payments through HUD on behalf of the borrower, Mirus New Orleans LLC. The financing of the project also includes the issuance of short-term tax-exempt bonds, 4 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits purchased by City Real Estate Advisors and HOME Funds provided by the Louisiana Housing Corp.
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How bad are New Orleans' streets? Fixes require billions, study shows, with two-thirds 'poor' or worse

Posted: 8/28/2016 | NOLA.com
With potholes, sinkholes, dips, cracks, years of patches on patches and entire blocks that can be navigated only by expertly executed turns, everyone knows New Orleans' streets are in bad shape. So bad, in fact, that the average condition of all roads in the city rates less than 43 on a scale of 100, and nearly two-thirds of the streets are in "poor" or worse condition, according to a new study. The report, compiled by a consulting firm that analyzed every block of every street in New Orleans over the past two years, paints a bleak picture of both the current state of the roads and the mammoth, multibillion-dollar effort that would be needed to bring them to acceptable standards.
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The ‘Forgotten People’ Of New Orleans’ Upper 9th Ward

Posted: 8/29/2016 | Huffington Post
NEW ORLEANS — Eleven years after Hurricane Katrina, abandoned, flood-damaged homes with shattered windows, buckled walls and crumbling rooftops can still be found throughout New Orleans’ 9th Ward. The blighted houses are constant reminders of the storm that claimed nearly 2,000 lives. And they’re an eyesore to residents of the predominantly African-American neighborhood near the heart of the historic French Quarter. And now, long after these fetid structures were abandoned, they’re threatening the health of nearby residents, with disease-carrying vermin that have taken up residence and air that spreads toxic mold, mildew and the stink of decay.
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No Prison for Big Freedia Over Housing Voucher Fraud

Posted: 8/25/2016 | City Lab
Big Freedia, the queen diva of New Orleans Bounce music, narrowly escaped prison time Thursday afternoon on charges of theft of federal housing assistance funds. She was sentenced to three years* of probation and a $35,000 fine by U.S. District Judge Lance Africk. Freedia was facing 10 years of prison, and there was no guarantee Freedia would’ve been able to avoid jail time, even considering her celebrity status. Freedia was charged by the federal government back in March for omitting her new celebrity-level income and fraudulently still collecting housing voucher assistance to pay her rent. She pled guilty
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Big Freedia avoids prison time, ordered to serve three years' probation

Posted: 8/25/2016 | NOLA.com
The stakes could not have been higher for Big Freedia as she walked into U.S. District Court on Thursday afternoon, flanked by her defense attorneys and a dedicated group of supporters. Her freedom and burgeoning career hung in the balance as she rose to read a letter of contrition she had prepared for U.S. District Judge Lance Africk, recounting her theft of public housing dollars. To her relief, rather than prison time, the popular New Orleans bounce rapper received the legal equivalent of a take-two, wrapped in a stern admonition to remain drug-free.
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Louisiana congressmen look at a possible flood aid package similar to Katrina

Posted: 8/25/2016 | The Advocate
Louisiana’s congressional delegation is working on legislation for additional funding to supplement recovery efforts from the historic flooding. U.S. Sen. David Vitter said Thursday he and the other members of the delegation are gathering the facts and figures – number of homes and businesses lost, for instance – that would support a request for billions of extra dollars beyond the federal disaster assistance available when the president declares an emergency under the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
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HUD secretary to tour flooded areas, more help coming

Posted: 8/25/2016 | FOX-8 Live
TANGIPAHOA PARISH, LA (WVUE) - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro will tour flood-damaged public housing and meet with displaced families. More than 20,000 homes or structures in Tangipahoa Parish were damaged by flooding. Part of the plan here and in other damaged areas, includes FEMA putting temporary mobile homes the front yards of thousands of flood victims dealing with severe damage. These mobile homes will be a significant upgrade from the trailers that appeared after Hurricane Katrina. These houses will be on blocks and strapped down instead of on wheels. Homeowners with less catastrophic damage will be eligible for grants of up to $15,000 as part of what Governor John Bel Edwards calls a "shelter at home" program. Some victims will also be able to stay in partner hotels while others may be able to seek temporary shelter in buildings that are not currently leased.
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The Ballad of Big Freedia: How the New Orleans Bounce Icon Was Betrayed By Her City’s Housing Crisis

Posted: 8/24/2016 | Pitchfork
On August 25, Big Freedia will be sentenced in federal court, facing up to 10 years in prison and a quarter-million-dollar fine. In March, the New Orleans rapper and bounce music icon pled guilty to theft of government funds, admitting that for about four years, she’d received housing assistance payments that her income was too high to entitle her to. Compounding the situation, in early July, Freedia was ordered to live in a halfway house after failing several court-ordered drug tests, breaking the conditions of her bond by testing positive for marijuana and methamphetamine.
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New Orleans Katrina Pain Index at 10: Who Was Left Behind

Posted: 7/20/2016 | Huffington Post
When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, the nation saw tens of thousands of people left behind in New Orleans. Ten years later, it looks like the same people in New Orleans have been left behind again. The population of New Orleans is noticeably smaller and noticeably whiter. While tens of billions poured into Louisiana, the impact on poor and working people in New Orleans has been minimal. Many of the elderly and the poor, especially poor families with children, never made it back to New Orleans. The poverty rate for children who did made it back remains at disturbingly high pre-Katrina levels, especially for Black children. Rents are high and taking a higher percentage of people’s income. The pre-Katrina school system fired all it teachers and professionals and turned itself into the charter experiment capital of the US even while the number of children in public schools has dropped dramatically. Since Katrina, white incomes, which were over twice that of Blacks, have risen three times as much as Blacks. While not all the numbers below are bad, they do illustrate who has been left behind in the ten years since Katrina hit.
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Will Landlords Have to Answer for Awful Neighbors?

Posted: 8/22/2016 | The Wall Street Journal Blog
The Obama administration is close to issuing a rule that could give tenants grounds to sue their landlords for discriminatory conduct by their neighbors. Last year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed a controversial rule that would establish liability under the Fair Housing Act for housing providers that fail to address discrimination against their […]
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Enterprise Makes LIHTC Investment in New Orleans

Posted: 8/12/2016 | AHF
Enterprise Community Investment has closed a $6.7 million low-income housing tax credit deal that will provide 30 families with affordable housing in New Orleans. The financing will help rehabilitate 14 existing single-family and duplex homes and construct two new homes. Part of the third phase of the ongoing redevelopment of public housing in the Tremé and Iberville neighborhoods of central New Orleans, the homes will meet Enterprise Green Communities criteria. Enterprise also invested in the first two phases, which were completed in 2014. “This deal is the latest example of our long-term commitment to rebuilding the Gulf Coast, where we’ve been a leader since Hurricane Katrina in creating communities with access to opportunity for the residents we serve,” said Michelle Whetten, vice president and Gulf Coast market leader at Enterprise Community Partners, the parent organization of Enterprise Community Investment. “While others saw risk, we saw an opportunity to make a lasting difference. The housing credit has enabled Enterprise to invest over $300 million and build nearly 9,000 homes throughout the region.”
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New Orleans receives $800K to combat chronic homelessness

Posted: 8/8/2016 | Louisiana Weekly
The City of New Orleans has in the last several years touted great success in decreasing its homeless population. Now, the city has been awarded an $800,000 grant to help accomplish its Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness, implemented by the Landrieu administration in 2011. “The City of New Orleans is committed to helping our homeless residents,” Mayor Landrieu promised in a press release announcing the grant. “[This will help] put them back on the path towards stable, permanent housing and prosperity.” This new grant, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is slated to go toward further housing and mental health services for the city’s homeless populations, particularly veterans, families and, for the first time, non-military individuals.
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New Orleans gets $800K to house and give mental health services to homeless veterans, families

Posted: 7/31/2016 | NOLA.com
Four years ago, there were more than 4,900 homeless people living in New Orleans. The majority -- more than 3,450 of them -- were living in abandoned buildings, or just camping out on the streets, according to a "Point in Time" report by UNITY of Greater New Orleans. Today, there are about 1,700 homeless people in the city on any given night, a number that reaches pre-Katrina levels. Now, according to city officials, that number is about to get even lower.
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Bayou District Foundation to manage City Park’s golf complex

Posted: 7/27/2016 | Mid-City Messenger
The New Orleans City Park’s Golf Complex is slated to be under new management in the fall, according to the park’s CEO, Bob Becker. The complex includes the North Course, the Driving Range and the new $24.5 million, 18-hole championship-level golf course slated to be finished early next year. Becker made the announcement at a New Orleans City Park Improvement Association board of directors meeting Tuesday. After many negotiations, he said, the Bayou District Foundation was expected to take over in October for a term up to 35 years.
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Firm tapped to look into whether minorities, women getting their due piece of public projects

Posted: 7/26/2016 | NOLA.com
An effort by Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration to examine whether minority- and woman-owned firms are truly benefiting from policies designed to ensure they receive a sizable share of city contracts edged forward Tuesday, as a city selection committee picked a firm with which to negotiate a deal to study that issue over the next year. The firm tapped to do the study, Keen Independent Research of Denver, will also examine whether such firms are being shut out of private sector work.
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New Orleans community works together to create mosaic

Posted: 7/19/2016 | NOLA.com
Nearly two years ago, neighbors in the Faubourg Lafitte told artist Laurel True that they’d like her public artwork to reflect their community’s rich history and culture. By working side-by-side with neighbors, True was able to synthesize those influences and create “the most site-appropriate public sculpture ever,” said Jonn Hankins, 62, co-founder of the New Orleans Master Craft Guild. “It’s just perfect,” he said, “It’s literal, but it still inspires the imagination. Anybody from a 4-year-old to a 74-year-old can appreciate it.”
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Housing discrimination, segregation to be addressed in federally backed plan, officials say

Posted: 7/19/2016 | NOLA.com
The average resident of Gentilly, an area where most residents are black, can expect to live to be 54 ½ -- a quarter-century less than in Lakeview, where residents are overwhelmingly white and can expect to live to be 80. Such disparity in life expectancy is just one of the consequences in a city divided by race and class, one where resources are disproportionately invested in some communities while others are left to languish, housing advocates said at a public hearing Tuesday evening at the Sojourner Truth Neighborhood Center on Lafitte Street.
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Famed photographer’s archive is donated to the Historic New Orleans Collection

Posted: 7/5/2016 | Louisiana Weekly
The photographic treasures of Harold Baquet, whose work spans three decades and captured the flavor and culture of Black New Orleans and chronicled important events in the history of Black America, were recently donated to The Historic New Orleans Collection. The colossal donation of the New Orleans native’s life’s work reportedly includes thousands of photographic images, contact sheets, slides, negatives and other items. Baquet died at the age of 56 on June 18, 2015 after a lengthy battle with colon cancer. The donation, which includes Baquet’s photos depicting Black life and culture in the Crescent City, represents a major acquisition for The Historic New Orleans Collection which announced the donation last week.
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Report: Zika risk in New Orleans could hit people in poverty hardest

Posted: 7/1/2016 | WWLTV
NEW ORLEANS – There’s no mystery about how the mosquitoes got into Shawanda Holmes’ former home. They flew through a gaping hole in the wall. One of the wooden boards on the side of the house is partly missing, covered only by a loose, blue plastic tarp that flows down the outside wall and crumples in a heap on the grass. Rainwater pools in its folds, providing an ideal site for mosquitoes to breed. Trash fills the backyard. Holmes' home had no air conditioning, and she was afraid to plug in a fan, for fear that water had leaked into the electrical outlet. Mosquitoes repeatedly bit her children, ages 4, 6 and 14.
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NLIHC Hosts Congressional Briefing on Why Housing Matters in Criminal Justice Reform

Posted: 7/6/2016 | NLIHC.org
NLIHC and nine other organizations hosted a congressional briefing on June 24 titled "Why Housing Matters in Criminal Justice Reform." Speakers discussed why we must ensure the reentry population has access to decent, affordable homes, the barriers to housing those individuals continue to face, and current efforts to revisit and reform policies that have worked to exclude people with criminal records from federally subsidized housing. In her opening remarks, NLIHC Senior Policy Analyst Elayne Weiss applauded recent bipartisan support to reform the criminal justice system, but noted that work needs to be done to ensure housing resources are ready for the increasing reentry population that will result from those reforms. The briefing's moderator, Kristen Clarke of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law, added that policy barriers too often prevent justice-involved persons from accessing decent, affordable housing. She spoke of the role that housing plays not only in placing reentering individuals on a path to success, but in lifting up whole communities.
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Housing NOLA appoints Andreanecia M. Morris as Executive Director

Posted: 6/28/2016 | HANO News Alert
NEW ORLEANS - The board of directors for HousingNOLA has appointed Andreanecia M. Morris as its Executive Director effective Monday, June 20, 2016. Morris has ample experience in the housing space, and has dedicated the past 20 years of her life to improving the affordablehousing market in New Orleans. HousingNOLA aims to offer a roadmap to maximize the effectiveness of scarce government resources, increasing non-traditional resources and assisting private-sector investors in making strategic choices.
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‘Something to call my own’: Habitat for Humanity homes in New Orleans East give owners reason to be hopeful

Posted: 6/25/2016 | NOLA.com
Victoria Gonzales, 14, has long wanted to paint her bedroom purple. But that sort of personalization isn’t allowed in an apartment building, even for teenagers who really want to put their own stamp on their surroundings. But soon, Victoria is going to buy a can of purple paint and carry it into her family’s new house on America Street built by New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. “Finally, something to call my own,” she said. Her sister Raquel, 13, is leaning toward blue paint for her room.
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THNOC acquires archive of noted photojournalist Harold Baquet

Posted: 6/15/2016 | WWLTV
NEW ORLEANS -- Photographer Harold Baquet spent 30 years documenting New Orleans' people, places and culture, as official photographer for two former mayors and later for Loyola University. Now, thousands of his photographs are being preserved and will be permanently housed at the Historic New Orleans Collection. THNOC announced the acquisition Tuesday, saying it was formally approved last month. The announcement comes almost exactly a year after Baquet’s death in June 2015, following a long battle with cancer.
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The "hotelization" of New Orleans: city planners question Airbnb

Posted: 6/15/2016 | Gambit Weekly
Sometime this year, New Orleans will likely begin legalizing short-term rentals, creating some kind of framework for permitting and taxing properties on websites like Airbnb. It's been a long, drawn-out debate among residents feeling the squeeze from increasingly tourist-filled neighborhoods, Airbnb operators trying to make a buck, indecisive city officials and departments, and now hotel operators, who fear not only losing business but the hospitality industry itself, pushed further from the heart of the city, unable to afford it.
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'A watershed year': Upper Canal Street, once a main commercial corridor, showing signs of revival

Posted: 6/11/2016 | NOLA.com
For its first retail store in Louisiana, designer jeans company True Religion decided to set up shop at Bourbon and Canal streets, where its mix of fashion accessories and high-end jeans could catch the eyes of the thousands of tourists, conventioneers and locals who pass by the corner every day. That the high-end retailer chose mid-Canal Street is a sign the corridor has turned a corner and is gaining traction with leading retailers, city officials and local business leaders say.
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Rep. Richmond Statement on Passage of 'Ban the Box' Legislation in the Louisiana Legislature

Posted: 5/26/2016 | HANO News Alert
Washington, DC - Today, Rep. Richmond (LA-02) issued the following statement after the Louisiana Legislature passed House Bill 266, which would prohibit state employers from including criminal history questions on hiring applications. The bill will now go to the Governor's desk, where it is expected to be signed into law: "The ability to find a job is critical for helping ex-offenders successfully reenter society," said Rep. Richmond.
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Family describes pain 1 year after HANO officer is slain in line of duty

Posted: 5/24/2016 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Exactly one year ago, someone gunned down a Housing Authority of New Orleans police officer. "People out there have a heart, please come forward, do good deed, that's all I'm asking," said the victim's mother, Chung Bennett. There are more questions than answers about the murder of HANO Officer James Bennett Jr. "Just wondering, you know? Why is it my son?" Chung asks. On May 24, 2015, someone shot the 45-year-old to death as he patrolled a construction site in his cruiser. The NOPD never made an arrest in what they called an ambush attack, except for that of 18-year-old Charles Garner. He was arrested earlier this month after he was found in possession of Bennett's gun. He's not charged with the murder.
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The Return: A New Documentary Film Captures the Joy and Pain of Prisoner Reentry

Posted: 5/23/2016 | Huffington Post
“I’m writing this letter to ask for another chance for my dad.” From the moment Kenneth Anderson’s daughter reads her letter to the judge aloud, The Return restores prisoners’ humanity. She continues, “It has been years since I’ve seen my father’s face... I look to this as a chance to show him what I’ve become and hopefully allow him to be a father to me in my adult life.” For many of us, this documentary film, which premieres tonight on PBS, hits close to home.
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Friend of slain HANO officer speaks out after break in case

Posted: 5/12/2016 | WWLTV
NEW ORLEANS -- A close friend of murdered HANO police Officer James Bennett is hopeful, speaking out after the recent arrest of an 18-year-old man in Central City. During that arrest police recovered Officer Bennett’s gun. Those who knew Bennett remember him as a generous, caring and funny guy. "There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about him," said Detective Nick Vega. A Jefferson Parish detective, Vega met Bennett in 1997 when he was working with the sheriff's office. Bennett eventually became an officer with the Housing Authority of New Orleans. Last May, while on duty, the 45- year-old was shot and killed inside of his patrol car at the Guste Housing Development construction site. Since then, there have been few leads, but there's now a new development.
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Police recover stolen gun of fallen HANO police officer James Bennett

Posted: 5/12/2016 | WGNO
NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – An 18-year-old has been arrested for allegedly having the stolen gun that belonged to fallen Housing Authority of New Orleans police officer James Bennett. New Orleans Police confirmed that Charles Garner, 18, was arrested for possession of a stolen firearm Saturday night at the corner of MLK and Rev John Raphael Way. Investigators later determined that the gun belonged to James Bennett, a HANO police officer who was shot and killed in May 2015 while on duty outside the Guste housing project in Central City.
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Report: Gun of slain HANO officer found in possession of man awaiting trial

Posted: 5/12/2016 | NOLA.com
A man who was out on bail awaiting trial for an attempted murder charge was arrested again Thursday morning, and found in possession of the handgun of HANO officer James Bennett, who was killed last year. According to a WWL-TV report, Charles Garner, 18, was arrested in Central City at Luther King Boulevard and John Raphael Way after he and another man attempted to run from police following a traffic stop for running a stop sign. When police searched the vehicle they discovered marijuana and Bennett's gun under the seat.
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Four N.O. officers killed in the line of duty honored at memorial

Posted: 5/4/2016 | WWLTV
NEW ORLEANS -- A ceremony was held Wednesday honoring police officers from across the state who lost their lives in the line of duty, including four officers from New Orleans. The memorial event was held at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home and Cemeteries. It featured a 21-gun salute and family members the officers left behind were honored. Added to the memorial this year were the names of New Orleans Police Department Officers Daryle Holloway, Vernell Brown, and Thomas Albert. Housing Authority of New Orleans Officer James Bennett, Jr. was also added to the granite memorial. Thirteen names were added to the monument.
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The Time Is Now to Invest in Second Chances

Posted: 5/4/2016 | Huffington Post
We are a society committed to the principle of equal justice under the law and our system is based on the principle that the punishment should fit the crime. When a person completes a prison sentence they are said to have paid their debt to society. When a person is arrested but not charged, they owe society no debt. Yet in both cases, their punishment is usually far from over. Last week was designated the first-ever National Reentry Week by the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ), an effort to call attention to the need to address the numerous barriers facing people with a criminal record.
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City’s new Juvenile Justice Center hailed as ‘opportunity center’ for troubled youth

Posted: 5/4/2016 | NOLA.com
City leaders gathered in the St. Bernard neighborhood on Tuesday to formally inaugurate the New Orleans Juvenile Justice Center, a $47 million campus on Milton Street that has brought the city’s Juvenile Court and related operations under one roof. The 59,000-square-foot facility, built alongside Bayou St. John, replaces the former outdated home of the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court in the Civil District Court building next to City Hall. It also includes the new Youth Study Center, a 40-bed juvenile detention center that opened two years ago.
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N.O. receives $1.5M to reduce the city’s prison population

Posted: 4/18/2016 | Louisiana Weekly
The City of New Orleans has received a $1.5 million grant to help implement reforms to safely reduce the city’s jail population. Mayor Mitch Landrieu made the announcement on Wednesday (April 13) through a press release stating that the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation selected New Orleans as one of the 11 jurisdictions across the country to receive the funding. The foundation awarded nearly $25 million in total supporting ambitious plans to make local justice systems more fair and effective when it comes to dealing with racial and ethnic disparities in the system.
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HANO eases policy for housing applicants with criminal records

Posted: 3/29/2016 | WWLTV
NEW ORLEANS -- Tuesday The Housing Authority of New Orleans approved a new policy that will pave the way for ex-offenders to get a home of their own. For Cosmo Russell, the new policy voted in by the New Orleans Housing Authority means he may be able to give his son a home. "When he comes home, he needs somewhere to live and I am his father and his loved one so therefore he should be with his father," said Russell in front of the Housing Authority board.
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24-hour vigil focuses on updated HANO policy on admitting people with criminal records

Posted: 3/28/2016 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — Community members will kick off a 24-hour vigil Monday in support of the Housing Authority of New Orleans updating its policy on admitting individuals with criminal records into public housing. Stand with Dignity and Vote seeks to draw attention with the vigil a day before HANO votes on the policy on Tuesday. The group will begin its vigil with a press conference at 4 p.m. Monday outside HANO's offices on Touro Street. HANO said earlier this month that it is moving forward with its previously announced plans to drop barriers that keep people with criminal records out of public housing. The policy update has been in the works but has been delayed by HANO shifting its control from federal to local in 2014.
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Advocates Holding All-Night Vigil Ahead Of Housing Authority Meeting

Posted: 3/29/2016 | WWNO
Housing advocates have been holding an all-night vigil in front of offices of the Housing Authority of New Orleans. It’s designed to press the authority for more reforms than are planned for review later today. About a dozen people settled into a small square patch of grass where they would spend the night outside the Touro Street HANO building. They say families are being split up under policies that bar some people with a criminal record from public housing, and the policies for dealing with drug and alcohol use are unclear. The demolition of housing projects after Hurricane Katrina has created mixed-use developments not totally under HANO control.
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At activists’ urging, HANO revises draft policy on accepting applicants with criminal records

Posted: 3/29/2016 | NOLA.com
The Housing Authority of New Orleans is seeking to extend a policy that would make it easier for people with limited rap sheets to live in public housing. The change would make the criminal background screening procedures HANO is proposing to use for its own units mandatory for the private entities that now manage a majority of the authority’s properties. If the changed plans are approved by the HANO board, it would be a victory for activists who clamored for that modification last week, saying that an older proposal didn’t do enough to afford ex-offenders an opportunity to be reunited with their families.
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HANO looking to expand options to people with criminal records

Posted: 3/28/2016 | WWLTV
NEW ORLEANS -- The Housing Authority of New Orleans may be changing rules Tuesday to offer housing options to ex-offenders but not without pushback from activist groups. In August, Marlene Kennedy returned to New Orleans after serving five years in prison in St. Gabriel. "My charges were always shoplifting" explained Kennedy. After serving her time now she faces a different problem. "I don't know where I'm going to sleep tonight," Kennedy said. With nowhere to call home Kennedy is among the city's population with a criminal record unable to get placed in housing. Last week The Housing Authority of New Orleans loosened policies that were blocking ex-offenders out of public housing. Activist groups like Ex-offender and Stand with Dignity said the changes aren't enough.
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More than 150 suspects arrested in Louisiana as part of national sweep, U.S. Marshals Office says

Posted: 3/25/2016 | NOLA.com
When 28-year-old Ricky McKeel surrendered after a three-hour standoff with a SWAT team in Harvey last month, he became one of more than 8,000 fugitives arrested nationally during a wide-ranging warrant sweep led by the U.S. Marshals Service. Federal and local officials boasted Thursday that they arrested 151 suspects in the New Orleans area since an operation dubbed “Violence Reduction 12” began Feb. 1. Those picked up included people accused of gang activity, sex offenses and crimes of violence, officials said.
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HANO executive director wants criminal history to be a non-factor for public housing

Posted: 3/22/2016 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Housing Authority of New Orleans wants convicted felons who've served their time to have full access to public housing, but third-party management groups or Section 8 landlords can still deny someone based on past criminal history. At this time, HANO has a policy in place that suggests management groups or Section 8 landlords should not deny people based on criminal history. However, the landlords are not required to abide by it. On Monday, more than 100 attended a public hearing at HANO's headquarters in Gentilly to discuss a proposal that would require management groups to follow the policy. The proposal is likely to go forward to Housing and Urban Development for approval.
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New York Investment Firm Commits $50M in Growth Capital to HRI Properties

Posted: 3/18/2016 | NOLA Curbed
The New Orleans-based real estate developer HRI Properties, which owns a sizable chunk of hotels and apartment buildings here and beyond, is poised to get even bigger. The New York investment firm Almanac Realty Investors has committed additional financial backing to the company. On top of an initial investment of $150 million in 2014, the firm is investing an extra $50 million in additional growth capital.
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Bounce artist Big Freedia pleads guilty to one count of theft of government funds

Posted: 3/16/2016 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — Big Freedia pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday on accusations of stealing money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Freedia, whose birth name is Freddie Ross Jr., was charged earlier this month with one count of theft of government funds, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite said. WDSU anchor Gina Swanson reports that Freedia pleaded guilty before Judge Lance Africk, which means the artist gives up the right to a trial. Bond has been set at $25,000 for Freedia. Sentencing will take place June 16. "This crime is much more than an oversight," Africk said.
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Big Freedia pleads guilty after arriving in court with reality TV crew in tow

Posted: 3/16/2016 | WWLTV
NEW ORLEANS - Rapper and reality TV star Big Freedia pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to stealing nearly $35,000 in Section 8 low-income housing vouchers between 2010 and 2014. Known as the “Queen of Bounce” for popularizing the unique form of New Orleans rap around the world, Big Freedia’s real name is Freddie Ross Jr., and he was charged and referred to by federal prosecutors as a man.
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HANO to unveil new guidelines on admitting individuals with criminal records

Posted: 3/8/2016 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — Since it announced the plans nearly three years ago, the Housing Authority of New Orleans said it is moving forward with efforts to drop barriers keeping people with criminal records out of public housing. Officials said specific rules that will ease the way for less-serious offenders to obtain public housing will be unveiled at a board meeting this month, the Advocate reports. The plans were announced in 2013 and sought to prohibit officials from excluding applicants based solely on criminal background checks, except when federal law applies.
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Reality star Big Freedia charged with theft

Posted: 3/2/2016 | Page Six
The entertainer who goes by the name Big Freedia was charged Tuesday with theft of government funds, the U.S. attorney’s office in New Orleans said. A bill of information said the entertainer, whose real name is Freddie Ross Jr., illegally took money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The document provided few details. In a statement, Big Freedia described the situation as “incredibly unfortunate.” She said she had been on federally subsidized housing for years before her financial situation changed. “I quickly found myself in a new economic structure and, frankly, knew little about how to handle my money. It wasn’t until recently (after I had stopped receiving housing vouchers) that it became very clear I had received assistance to which I wasn’t entitled,” she said.
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Feds charge Big Freedia with felony theft, reportedly say she lied about income for Section 8 housing

Posted: 3/3/2016 | NOLA.com
The Queen of Bounce has been charged with stealing from Uncle Sam. Federal prosecutors alleged Tuesday that Freddie Ross Jr. — better known by her stage name Big Freedia — stole from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development between 2010 and December 2014. She was charged in court documents with theft of government funds, a felony. The New Orleans native and touring phenomenon said in a statement that she already has begun making arrangements to pay back roughly $34,000 for federal housing vouchers. She called the entire situation “incredibly unfortunate.”
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Big Freedia charged with lying about income to get Section 8 vouchers

Posted: 3/2/2016 | WWLTV
NEW ORLEANS - The Queen of Bounce, Big Freedia, was charged in federal court Tuesday with felony theft of government funds. Big Freedia is the stage name of Freddie Ross, Jr., who was charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office with lying about his income to get subsidized housing through a Section 8 voucher each year from 2010 to 2014. The bill of information suggests that Ross will plead guilty. It refers to Ross as “he,” even though Big Freedia performs as a woman and also uses “she.” Big Freedia allegedly lied about how much money he was making as he renewed Section 8 vouchers on an annual basis, receiving more than $34,000 worth of vouchers when his income exceeded the federal subsidized housing limit.
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Conversion of Treme school campus moves forward

Posted: 2/22/2016 | New Orleans City Business
A long-planned project to convert the former Andrew J. Bell Junior High School in Treme into a mixed-use arts development is finally starting to take shape. Nonprofit real estate developer Artspace of Minneapolis is moving forward with its acquisition of the 4.4-acre campus at 1010 N. Galvez St., where it is planning an arts community with affordable housing for low-to-middle income local artists, space for cultural organizations and park areas for other community use. The group is partnering with local nonprofit Providence Community Housing as part of the New City initiative to revitalize various urban neighborhoods in New Orleans.
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HRI Properties Starts Fourth Phase of Iberville Housing Development

Posted: 2/16/2016 | Engineering News-Record
HRI Properties recently broke ground on a fourth phase of construction at a large housing development in New Orleans. Josh Collen, vice president of development for HRI, says Phase IV of the 23-acre Bienville Basin District covers 182,000 sq ft of space with 164 mixed-income apartment units spread across eight buildings. Collen says the six new buildings in the phase will be "stick built" with a style complementing the surrounding historic neighborhoods. Buildings will be clad in traditional materials of stucco, brick and lap siding, while adhering to the latest energy and hurricane codes.
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HANO opens waiting lists for New Florida community, scattered site properties

Posted: 2/16/2016 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — The Housing Authority of New Orleans said it has opened waiting lists for the New Florida public housing community and its other scattered site properties. The waiting lists opened for potential applicants on Monday. Officials said anyone interested in applying can do so until 5 p.m. Friday. HANO officials said the New Florida community will have 51 units of public housing available in the spring. The units feature one, two or three bedrooms. The New Florida community is located at 2315 Independence Street. More information about the community can be found online.
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Google Fiber Rolls Out 1 Gbps Broadband Internet To Housing Projects For Free

Posted: 2/5/2016 | Tech Times
About one in four U.S. households does not have broadband Internet, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). That's one of the many reasons HUD is partnering with Google to install 1 Gbps fiber service to select communities, the partners announced on Wednesday. For the residents of the communities connected to Google's neighborhood-scale fiber deployments, the company will offer the service for free. "At Google Fiber, we often talk about how superfast speeds and access to home broadband can move entire communities forward," Google says. "For low income families, access to the Internet can mean the difference between thriving or falling behind."
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Google Bringing Free Gigabit Fiber to Low-Income Housing

Posted: 2/5/2016 | ECN
Google has announced a roll out expansion of its coveted high-speed Internet service, but the installations aren’t happening where you might think. On Wednesday, Google said it is bringing its gigabit fiber product into the homes of low-income residents free of charge. According to Google, the service will be delivered to “select” public housing buildings in each of the cities where it currently operates. As with the original Google Fiber roll out, the service was first turned on in 100 homes at the West Bluff public housing property in Kansas City, Mo., on Wednesday, the company said. Up to nine properties in the city are expected to be wired through the program, reaching some 1,300 families in the area.
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FOX 8 Investigates: HUD considers new rule to address over-income tenants

Posted: 2/3/2016 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is taking action against tenants whose income is over the limit to qualify for public housing. A FOX 8 investigation uncovered public housing tenants in Louisiana making nearly $144,000 a year, over $115,000 in a second case, almost $129,000 in another and the list went on from New Orleans, to the west bank, to the bayou region. Tax dollars helped pay their rent, all while thousands of low-income families are on waiting lists across the state in need of affordable housing.
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Housing Vouchers and Poverty Concentration in New Orleans

Posted: 1/28/2016 | Non-Profit Quarterly
New Orleans’s Times-Picayune reports on a new study showing that housing choice voucher tenants, displaced from New Orleans public housing developments, are ending up clustered in surrounding neighborhoods. “The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, a housing advocacy group, released a report on [January 21st, 2016] that said all-too-often households receiving housing vouchers are concentrated in ‘a small number of census tracts” far from jobs, services and good public transportation.’” The story reflects on the unintended consequences arising from the new “rental boom” and the persistence of “source of income” discrimination.
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Reward increased for tips about May slaying of HANO police officer

Posted: 1/22/2016 | NOLA.com
Eight months after a Housing Authority of New Orleans police officer was killed in his cruiser, authorities on Tuesday announced a greatly increased reward for information in the mysterious nighttime shooting. Officials said that with the assistance of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the reward for information about the May 21 shooting of James Bennett Jr. has been raised to $35,000. Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said detectives need the public’s help.
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Reward in fatal Central City shooting of HANO officer increases to $35K

Posted: 1/19/2016 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans authorities said up to a $35,000 cash reward is now being offered in the murder investigation of a Housing Authority of New Orleans officer. New Orleans Police Superintendent Micheal Harrison was joined Tuesday morning by representatives from Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans and the New Orleans Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for the reward increase announcement. HANO Officer James Bennett Jr. was shot to death while he was on patrol May 24, 2015, in the 2300 block of Erato Street. He was found dead inside his marked police vehicle.
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Crimestoppers to honor family of slain HANO officer

Posted: 1/19/2016 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - More should be learned today about the investigation into the murder of a HANO officer. Officer James Bennett, Jr. was gunned down last May while on patrol at a Central City construction site. So far, no suspects have ever been named. The update on the investigation into his death should come at the Crimestoppers annual awards luncheon. Officer Bennett's family will be presented with a Fallen Hero's award during today's event. Bennett was found dead inside his marked squad car.Detectives believe he was shot in the 2300 block of Erato Street and his car continued to roll forward, coming to a stop after striking a curb at the intersection of Freret and Erato. Bennett worked at HANO for two years. He was working an overtime detail at the construction site when he was killed.
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Hundreds remember area first responders during annual Mass at St. Louis Cathedral

Posted: 12/13/2015 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — Hundreds attended Mass on Sunday in the French Quarter to remember those who lost their lives in the line of duty. The celebration Mass at St. Louis Cathedral brought together family, friends and the community to pay tribute to area first responders. Sunday's occasion offered peace and hope for police officers, firefighters and paramedics. In 2015, three police officers have been killed in the line of duty. Officer James Bennett Jr. died in May after he was shot in Central City while patrolling a construction site. He was an officer for the Housing Authority of New Orleans.
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More evidence uncovers Iberville redevelopment work intended for disadvantaged firms went to white male-owned companies

Posted: 12/9/2015 | NOLA.com
Not one but two companies that were supposed to be big beneficiaries of rules aimed at making sure companies owned by minorities and women got some of the work on the massive redevelopment of the former Iberville public housing complex in fact passed on most of the money they received to subcontractors that don’t qualify as either minority- or woman-owned, newly released documents show.
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La. treasurer fighting for legislative change after housing Investigation

Posted: 12/4/2015 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Louisiana State Treasurer John Kennedy is calling for legislative change after a FOX 8 Investigation uncovered some people making six-figure salaries are living in public housing. "This sort of thing makes victims of every taxpayer in the state," Kennedy said. Kennedy was appalled after we showed him some public housing tenants in Louisiana making nearly $144,000 a year, over $115,000 in another case, almost $129,000 in another - and the list goes on from New Orleans, to the west bank to down the bayou region.
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City proposes tightening up DBE rules to prevent them from being used as pass-through companies

Posted: 12/4/2015 | NOLA.com
In a move that would close what critics say is an unfair loophole in New Orleans’ program to assist disadvantaged business enterprises, Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration unveiled a proposal Wednesday designed to prevent DBEs from being used as pass-through companies, funneling work to white- or male-owned subcontractors that was officially going to minority- or woman-owned businesses. The new rules come weeks after news broke of an investigation by the Housing Authority of New Orleans involving developer HRI Properties, general contractor Woodward Design+Build and certified DBE subcontractor Nolmar Corp.
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A neighborhood divided over housing

Posted: 11/30/2015 | Marketplace
New Orleans East is not the French Quarter or Treme. It’s the suburbs, a 30-minute drive from the city’s attractions. It includes high- and low-income neighborhoods. The stately brick houses along Lake Willow Drive in New Orleans East have pools and lake views and landscaped lawns. A high fence separates the homes from a 263-unit apartment complex called The Willows. The brown Willows’ buildings are two stories high, the lawns are a little straggly, and a couple of windows are boarded up.
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State Treasurer appalled after seeing 'Unfair Housing' investigation

Posted: 11/21/2015 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - State treasurer John Kennedy says he's appalled after seeing the findings of our FOX 8 "Unfair Housing" investigation. "I was surprised first, and then I was appalled, and then I was angry," said Kennedy. Now Kennedy is calling for an investigation into the public housing system. "I want our people to go verify it, and then we are going to do whatever we got to do. At least I am going to ask them to have the people removed and to sue them for the money," said Kennedy. Kennedy is talking about the over-income public housing tenants across the state exposed in our investigation. We found one tenant making more than $140,000 a year living in New Orleans.
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FOX 8 Investigates: Over-income tenants living in N.O. public housing

Posted: 11/20/2015 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A FOX 8 Investigation uncovers that even more public housing tenants making big money are cashing in on your tax dollars for rent. Now, after seeing what we found, a state lawmaker is taking legislative action to put a stop to it. More than a $140,000 a year. That's what one public housing tenant living in New Orleans is making. And - get this - that income supports just one person, yet your tax dollars are helping pay their rent each month. "Clearly someone making $140,000, when they qualified they were supposed to be making $33,000. In one year, I think it would be surprising to see if their income jumped to $140,000, that had to grow over time," said Rep. Cameron Henry, R-Metairie.
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Louisiana congressman calls for change after FOX 8 Investigation

Posted: 11/17/2015 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A Louisiana congressman calls for change after a FOX 8 Investigation. In our report, "Unfair Housing," we uncovered taxpayers are helping pay rent for some public housing tenants who earn six figures. We found it happening across the state. Public records from a federal audit of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's public housing program ranked Louisiana seventh in the country for allowing people to live in public housing who earned more than HUD's 2014 eligibility income limits.
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Smoking ban proposed for public housing

Posted: 11/12/2015 | WGNO
Another smoking ban may soon be at your front door… literally. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed a new rule that would ban cigarettes, cigars, and pipes from government assisted housing projects for low-income families. Smoking also would be prohibited outdoors within 25 feet of housing and administrative buildings. The smoking ban would protect hundreds of thousands of public housing residents from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, HUD noted.
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ACLU, public housing residents want to extinguish proposed smoking ban

Posted: 11/13/2015 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The possible smoking ban inside and outside public housing has residents and the Louisiana ACLU fired up. "They ain't going to evict me. I wish they'd try," Faubourg Lafitte resident Joyce Giles said. "Well intentioned," Louisiana ACLU Executive Director Marjorie Esman said. "But this is really bad policy because what's going to end up happening is a family gets evicted from housing because one member smokes. All it's going to do is increase homelessness." Frustrations ignited after the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced it wants to ban smoking inside its residences and 25 feet outside any of its building. HUD says the changes come after years of health studies and want housing agents must enforce the ban within the next 18 months for its 31-hundreds housing agencies nationwide.
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'Ban the box': Why Baton Rouge councilwoman want to remove questions about past convictions from local government job applications

Posted: 11/1/2015 | The Advocate
Questions such as “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” and “Have you ever gone to jail?” are standard on many job applications. But there’s a move afoot to change that for people seeking jobs in local government in East Baton Rouge Parish. East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle wants to remove the questions about a prospective employee’s conviction history for people applying to work for the city-parish. Marcelle’s goal is part of a larger, national movement to “ban the box” on job applications about criminal histories that often determine if applicants end up in the “yes” or “no” pile.
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Living along the Lafitte Greenway: Is it attainable or unaffordable?

Posted: 9/29/2015 | Louisiana Weekly
As post-Katrina housing prices have escalated, some residents have been forced out of their own neighborhoods. The city’s rents and home prices have more than doubled since 2000, according to HousingNOLA, a collaborative run by the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance. Costs continue to rise as locals head for higher, less flood-prone ground, and gentrification is on a tear as out-of-towners settle here. Against that backdrop, residents wonder about the impact of the new Lafitte Greenway, a post-Katrina revitalization running from Armstrong Park to City Park, on housing and business leases. The city had hoped to unveil the 2.6-mile, linear park last spring but that’s been delayed.
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HANO begins demolition of "Scattered Site" properties

Posted: 9/22/2015 | FOX-8 Live
You will notice a lot of demolition work at Housing Authority of New Orleans sites. The housing authority started last week a project to demolish structures on vacant lots scattered across the city. It wants all proposals for redevelopment to include a minimum of 2/3 affordable and public housing. Click here for details about HANO's Scattered Sites Strategy. Copyright 2015 WVUE. All rights reserved.
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With rents, home values increasing, HousingNOLA plan will look at ways to provide more affordable housing in New Orleans

Posted: 9/11/2015 | NOLA.com
Rents are rising, median income has fallen and affordable places to call home in New Orleans are becoming increasingly difficult to find, according to a recently released report about housing conditions in the city. Now, local officials plan to take that information and craft a plan to address housing needs over the next decade. Dubbed HousingNOLA, the plan will try to address the impact that changing demographics, an inadequate housing supply and diminished federal funding for affordable housing will have in determining who can live in New Orleans and at what cost.
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New Orleans' Leading Affordable-Housing Developer Explains Its Lack of Affordable Housing

Posted: 9/3/2015 | City Lab
In an August 27 piece, ”Why Louisiana Fought Low-Income Housing in New Orleans After Katrina,” CityLab explored the city’s challenges with reproducing adequate housing for very low-income families during the recovery. One of the figures at the center of that still-unfolding saga is Pres Kabacoff, CEO of HRI Properties, the real-estate development company responsible for building most of the large-scale apartment complexes around New Orleans. HRI has about 26 of these, containing 2,862 apartment units in New Orleans, about half of which they consider affordable, according to a portfolio the company shared with CityLab.
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Detectives continue search for whoever was responsible for shooting HANO officer in May

Posted: 9/2/2015 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — Investigators are still searching for whoever was responsible for fatally shooting a Housing Authority of New Orleans police officer earlier this year. Officer James A. Bennett Jr. was gunned down in May while on patrol near First and Freret streets in Central City. He had been an officer with HANO for two years. On Tuesday, Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans and the New Orleans Police Department held a news conference to discuss several unsolved cases in the city. Bennett's was one of the cases that has not seen an arrest since the shooting.
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FOP wants stiffer penalties for those who target law enforcement

Posted: 9/1/2015 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The national president of the Fraternal Order of Police wants stiffer penalties for people convicted of targeting and killing police officers in the line of duty. Chuck Canterbury's request mentions the Texas sheriff's deputy gunned down Friday night, and the unsolved murder of Housing Authority Officer James Bennett Jr. in New Orleans. Three months after being shot to death in his squad car while working a detail, police still have few leads into Bennett's murder. "You never think it's going to be your friend that happens to," Bennett's friend, Bum Lee, said.
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Get to the Bricks: New Report Details the Experiences of Black Women from New Orleans Public Housing after Hurricane Katrina

Posted: 8/27/2015 | Huffington Post
Get to the Bricks: The Experiences of Black Women from New Orleans Public Housing After Hurricane Katrina, a new report published this week by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), is the culmination of a five-year research project exploring the experiences of women who lived in public housing when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in 2005 and the levees protecting the city of New Orleans failed. It presents a comprehensive analysis of the interview responses of 184 low-income black women who were living in “The Big Four”—four large housing projects within the city of New Orleans, known as “the Bricks”—and who were displaced by the twin disasters of the hurricane and the flooding. The analysis is based on in-depth ethnographic interviews with the women conducted over a two-year period from 2008 to 2010, when many of them remained displaced in other cities while some had returned to find a different city than the one they had known.
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Will President Obama Reverse Course on Race and Katrina?

Posted: 8/27/2015 | National Journal
Obama has said race wasn’t a factor in the government’s slow response to Katrina. He may not stand by that view in his Thursday speech in New Orleans.
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Why Louisiana Fought Low-Income Housing in New Orleans After Katrina

Posted: 8/27/2015 | City Lab
In May 2009, about four years after Katrina destroyed most of New Orleans, a locally based research nonprofit called the Bureau of Governmental Research issued a key finding: Subsidized housing will assist more of the poorest households in New Orleans than before the disaster, and a far greater number of low- and moderate-income households with incomes between 40% and 80% of median. This was actually a warning. Taken from its report “The House That Uncle Sam Built,” BGR was concerned that the city was taking on too much subsidized housing and needed to reconsider its overall strategy.
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A Civil Engineer Talks Rebuilding NOLA 10 Years After Hurricane Katrina

Posted: 8/26/2015 | Essence
After Hurricane Katrina left the city of New Orleans underwater in August 2005, Iam Tucker knew that she had to do something to help. The New Orleans native applied to the Baton Rouge Police Department to aid in the recovery of the city, but she moved back home in 2008 to take over her father’s position as president and CEO of Integrated Logistical Support, Inc., a New Orleans engineering firm whose mission is to strengthen and the city’s infrastructure, after he announced that he was retiring. Seven years into her job, Tucker, 32, has been an integral part in revitalizing the New Orleans’ internal systems while simultaneously being an outspoken proponent of Black-owned businesses.
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Meet the Loneliest Woman in New Orleans: 'It's a Ghost Town Around Here'

Posted: 8/26/2015 | People
"We talk about how we can't wait for things to get back to normal, but I think I've realized that things will never go back to normal," Shawn McNeil tells PEOPLE Shawn McNeil looks at her life in two parts: Before Katrina and after Katrina. When Hurricane Katrina hit 10 years ago in August 2005, almost everything in her life washed away. “This area is the most depressing place in the world,” McNeil tells PEOPLE of her native home in the Press Park area of New Orleans. “It’s just so sad.” The 48-year-old grew up in Gordon Plaza, part of a subdivision developed by the city in 1981 on top of the Agriculture Street landfill.
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10 Years Later, There's So Much We Don't Know About Where Katrina Survivors Ended Up

Posted: 8/25/2015 | City Lab
Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the city of New Orleans on the morning of August 29, 2005, swept in by winds traveling at 127 mph. But the true damage came after the levees broke, when about 80 percent of the city flooded. At least 400,000 residents, nearly the entire city, were displaced—some for a few days, some forever. Ten years later, there is still no single, comprehensive source of information on what happened to displaced New Orleans residents—on where they went, or why. Beyond FEMA and U.S. Census data collected a year or less after the disaster, neither the local nor federal government had systems in place to systematically track Katrina’s castaways.
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Katrina recovery pits New Orleans against continuing racial and income divides

Posted: 8/19/2015 | E & E News
Ten years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, killed at least 1,833 people and displaced most New Orleans residents, Mayor Mitch Landrieu says the city has "big-time unfinished business," but is well along the path to recovery. "There is no doubt, our progress has been anything but a straight line, and Lord knows we have a long, long way to go," Landrieu told a Washington, D.C., crowd at the National Press Club yesterday. "After all, the storm didn't create all our problems. Our issues are generations in the making and are shared by every other part of America."
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HUD touts successes in rebuilding 10 years after Hurricane Katrina

Posted: 8/14/2015 | FOX-8 Live
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WVUE) - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro reaffirmed Tuesday his agency's commitment to the Gulf Coast. As the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, Castro laid out HUD's progress in helping New Orleans families devastated by the storm. Castro remembered Katrina and its victims at a news conference in Washington, D.C., but also remembered facts about the human toll of storm. At least 1,800 people lost their lives and millions of people were displaced across five states. The region experienced $150 billion in economic damages. "As long as there are people who want to come home and communities that need to be rebuilt, our job is not done. That's the true meaning of commemoration," Castro said.
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After Katrina, New Orleans' Public Housing Is A Mix Of Pastel And Promises

Posted: 8/17/2015 | NPR
Hurricane Katrina caused widespread devastation and loss of life, and many of those whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged fled New Orleans. In the months that followed, many of the city's poorest families got even more bad news: The public housing units they called home would be knocked down, even if undamaged by the storm. The destruction had given the government an opening to speed up its pre-Katrina plans to tear down old public housing projects and replace them with mixed-income developments. The goal was to deconcentrate poverty and give lower-income residents a better place to live — a goal that has been met with only partial success.
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Post-Katrina Struggles Continue in the Lower Ninth Ward and Parts of West Bank New Orleans

Posted: 8/14/2015 | Huffington Post
In the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Rev. Charles Duplessis of Mount Nebo Bible Baptist Church says an estimate that less than half of that area’s pre-Katrina population has returned looks accurate. “Just over 50 members of our congregation of 120 are back,” he said from his Tennessee Street home, where services are being held until the Flood Street church is rebuilt. The Lower Nine and three other city neighborhoods have less than 50 percent of their pre-storm residents, according to a study released in mid-July by The Data Center—formerly known as the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center.
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Initial phases of Iberville rebuild now taking tenants

Posted: 8/12/2015 | New Orleans City Business
The first two phases of the sprawling redevelopment of the former Iberville public housing development and its surrounding neighborhood are now ready for tenants, according to the developers behind the project. HRI Properties announced Tuesday that it has started leasing the first 227 apartments within the 23-acre district now known as Bienville Basin. The new neighborhood includes rebuilt infrastructure and streets and is composed of a mix of new structures and renovated buildings.
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10 Years After Katrina, a New Kind of Leadership Emerges in New Orleans

Posted: 8/12/2015 | Huffington Post
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, three New Orleans businessmen and civic leaders, Gerry Barousse, Mike Rodrigue and Gary Solomon, teamed up to play an inspirational role in the rebirth of their beloved city. Their effort to rebuild New Orleans through the creation of the Bayou District Foundation led to demonstrable results in the standard of living and people’s lives. They are part of a new, emerging brand of leadership that we should applaud and support nationally.
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The tiniest home in New Orleans pops up in the Irish Channel

Posted: 8/11/2015 | WGNO
NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) -The tiny home trend is sweeping the nation, and now the first tiny home of its kind is making its way to New Orleans in the Irish Channel. News with a Twist Reporter Kenny Lopez takes you inside a surprisingly roomy home, which is more spacious and affordable than you might expect! Living in a Garden District mansion is out of the question for many of us, but that doesn't mean you should have to pay Garden District prices to live in a much smaller home, right? "Prices are being driven up in the city. Simple economics...supply and demand. The demand is driving the prices up. A lot of people like teachers, firefighters, police officers can't afford to live in these areas," Chuck Rutledge said.
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A public housing project reborn in New Orleans

Posted: 8/10/2015 | WWNO
The St. Bernard Development, a housing project, was a collection of low-rise brick homes in New Orleans' Gentilly neighborhood. Around 900 families lived there before the flooding from Hurricane Katrina. Some former residents remember St. Bernard as a community where people worked hard and looked out for each other. Others, including many New Orleans residents who did not live in the project, say St. Bernard was violent and impoverished. The New Orleans City Council voted in 2007 to demolish St. Bernard. The question was: What would replace it?
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HANO: Beware of Section 8 scammers

Posted: 8/10/2015 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Federal officials are warning individuals seeking housing assistance of Section 8 scammers attempting to get money and personal information. The Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently alerted the Housing Authority of New Orleans about the issue. The scammers have created false websites that appear as registration sites for Section 8 waiting list lotteries. They encourage applicants to pay a fee or provide personal information to register for a fictitious Section 8 list.
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Maps: 10 Years After Katrina, NOLA’s Poor Neighborhoods Are Still Largely Abandoned

Posted: 8/10/2015 | Mother Jones
Ten years ago this month, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, killing at least 1,833 people. In total, more than 400,000 people in New Orleans were displaced from their homes. Those with means evacuated the city before the hurricane struck, and in the coming months and years, many of them attempted to return to rebuild their lives. But it wasn’t so simple: In October 2005, National Guard troops blocked more than 10,000 people from visiting their property in the Lower Ninth Ward, a predominately African American neighborhood that had suffered the most damage from the hurricane. Three years later, tens of thousands of people were still living in trailers issued by FEMA that were found to contain high levels of toxic formaldehyde.
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New Orleans Katrina Pain Index at 10: Who was left behind?

Posted: 7/31/2015 | San Francisco Bay View
When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, 2005, the nation saw tens of thousands of people left behind in New Orleans. Ten years later, it looks like the same people in New Orleans have been left behind again. The population of New Orleans is noticeably smaller and noticeably whiter. While tens of billions poured into Louisiana, the impact on poor and working people in New Orleans has been minimal.
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New Orleans land grab: Addressing the ‘elephant’ in the city 10 years after Hurricane Katrina

Posted: 8/1/2015 | San Francisco Bay View
New Orleans – As we approach the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, let’s not ignore the “elephant” in New Orleans, notwithstanding the pressure to do just that. The elephant in our city is the rampant land grab displacing predominantly African American residents to the outskirts of the city, where public safety, reliable transit, nearby schools, accessible job opportunities and neighborhood amenities are lacking. To be sure, the displacement of mostly African American residents also creates hardships for white New Orleanians who are not only out-financed by developers and incoming residents, but also see their salaries not keeping up with the rising costs of housing, education and healthcare in this city.
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In New Orleans, public housing crunch forces thousands into limbo

Posted: 7/30/2015 | Al-Jazeera America
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana — When Stephanie Mingo talks about the St. Bernard Projects, the area in New Orleans’ 7th Ward where she was born and raised, her voice gets tight. Her frustration is audible as she struggles to hold back tears and contain the anger that has been bubbling for nearly a decade. Before Hurricane Katrina barreled through New Orleans in 2005, life was simpler for her. Every Christmas, she would put up a 6-foot Santa Claus outside her door. On weekends, friends would gather for parties that lasted well into the night. And during the day, neighbors would watch her children at a community day care while she worked at the Orleans Parish School Board.
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10 years after the storm: has New Orleans learned the lessons of Hurricane Katrina?

Posted: 7/27/2015 | The Guardian
Maggie Carroll couldn’t sleep – not after what she had read earlier in the day. It was 11 January 2006, four months after the deadly floods triggered by Hurricane Katrina had swallowed many of New Orleans’ neighbourhoods. Carroll and her husband were among the first to return after the storm and take stock of theirs, Broadmoor, a low-lying area whose raised bungalows and colourful shotgun houses had been inundated by up to 10 feet of water.
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Dr. Beverly Wright: White Protesters in New Orleans East and the proliferation of multi-family housing

Posted: 6/18/2015 | The New Orleans Agenda
NEW ORLEANS, LA - Well folks, I thought I had seen it all; but I have not. If you just have a feeling that your neighborhood is changing, hold onto it because the change is not over yet. New Orleans East is the fastest growing district in the city, but not in the way that could be described as progressive. Poorer African Americans, the working class and the extremely poor are being pushed out to the East by the staggering increases in rents in their childhood neighborhoods and by developers and new land owners capitalizing on the housing shortage in this city.
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No leads, suspects in HANO officer slaying

Posted: 7/1/2015 | WDSU
It's been more than a month since a Housing Authority of New Orleans police officer was killed in Central City. Police have yet to name a suspect in the case, and investigators are seeking help from the public for information in the case.
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10 Years After Katrina, New Orleans Public Housing Still in Limbo

Posted: 6/15/2015 | Next City
From his regular perch on his New Orleans front porch, Louis Miller keeps an eye on the narrow shotgun house across the street. Every few weeks, maintenance crews from the local housing authority cut the grass in front of the house and repair the boards that cover the windows, if vagrants have pried them loose again. Miller, 64, is an active presence here, warmly greeting his neighbors as they come and go. But his block on Governor Nicholls Street — less than a mile from the bustling French Quarter — is too silent, with too many blighted, empty homes, he says. He can’t imagine that changing anytime soon.
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Who Killed Public Housing in New Orleans?

Posted: 6/2/2015 | The Nation
This article is adapted from We’re Still Here Ya Bastards, published this month by Nation Books. New Orleans was one of the first cities in the country to get public housing, with six projects in place in the early 1940s. These were solid, well-crafted brick structures of three to five stories, often with tile roofs, front-entrance grillwork, solid wood floors, and separate entrances for small clusters of apartments. Many of them stood around courtyards with shade trees and paths. As a style, they became the model for the many private garden apartments that followed.
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Crimestoppers raises reward for information in HANO officer killing to $10K

Posted: 6/4/2015 | WDSU
Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans made the announcement Thursday in a news conference. Authorities are looking for the person or persons responsible in the fatal shooting of Officer James Bennett Jr. Bennet was shot and killed in his police car May 21 while working in Central City. Bennett's career in law enforcement spans nearly three decades. He joined the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office Reserve Unit in 2000 before taking the job at HANO. He also served overseas in the first Gulf War. Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.
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Slain New Orleans Officer Laid to Rest, No Leads on Who Shot Him

Posted: 6/1/2015 | People
Officer James A. Bennett Jr., 45, was sitting in his patrol car on May 24 when someone walked up to his car and shot him. A two-year veteran with the Housing Authority of the New Orleans Police Department, Bennett loved his job so much, he inspired his younger brother to join the force as well. His brutal murder came as a shock to the friends and family who attended his funeral Friday. “It’s not the way us policemen think,” his brother Anthony Bennett told WDSU.
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Slain HANO officer had passion for athletics, family

Posted: 5/27/2015 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — As the search for a suspect continues, WDSU has learned new information about the police officer who was killed in the line of duty on Sunday morning. James Bennett Jr. joined the HANO Police Department two years ago. Prior to that he served with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office reserve division and second district patrol division. For the 45 -year-old Housing Authority of New Orleans officer, Westbank Athletic Club in Gretna was home away from home. "He spent more time in the gym than he did at home. He was always working out," said Steven Adams. "I’m still in shock. I can't believe it." Loved ones are struggling to make sense of his death.
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New Orleans Police Officer Shot Dead in Patrol Car

Posted: 5/24/2015 | NBC News
A New Orleans housing authority police officer was shot and killed while sitting in a marked patrol car Sunday morning, according to police. The 45-year-old Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) officer was patrolling a construction site just blocks from the New Orleans Saints' stadium when he was fatally shot, according to a statement from the New Orleans Police Department. Police were called to the scene at 7:10 a.m., and found the officer in his marked patrol car, which had rolled forward and hit a curb, according to the statement.
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New Orleans Cop Shot Dead in Cruiser

Posted: 5/24/2015 | ABC News
A New Orleans police officer was found shot dead in his marked patrol car this morning, city officials said. The shooting was reported around 7 a.m., the New Orleans Police Department said in a news release. The victim's car rolled forward and struck a curb after the shooting. The officer's name has not been released, but the New Orleans police identified the victim as a 45-year-old man who worked as a Housing Authority police officer. A Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) police officer "Investigates complaints, maintains order, aids individuals, and identifies criminal offenders," according to a summary of the position on hano.org. The officers also perform "unplanned physical tasks which include the restraining of violent individuals, running, climbing fences and responding to EMS and rescue emergencies. Officers must handle gun belts," the summary said.
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UPDATE: Coroner identifies HANO police officer killed Sunday

Posted: 5/24/2015 | WGNO
UPDATE: The Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office has identified the HANO police officer who was shot and killed Sunday as 45-year-old James Bennett, Jr. John N. Fortunato of the Sheriff's Office said, "Bennett was a former member of the JPSO Reserve Division from April 2000 until March of 2006. He went full-time in the Second District Patrol Division for a short time, returning back into the Reserves in October 2006. In May of 2013, Sergeant James Bennett, Jr. left the JPSO to go full-time with HANO." NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) -- The NOPD is investigating the murder of a 45-year-old male Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) police officer.
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Murdered HANO officer called 'class act' and 'lovable'

Posted: 5/26/2015 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Friends of a New Orleans Housing Authority officer killed in the line of duty Sunday call his death senseless and tragic. New Orleans police investigators say someone shot and killed HANO officer James Bennett Jr., 45, early Sunday morning. Bennett's body was found in his cruiser near the intersection of Erato and Freret streets in Central City. He was patrolling a shut down construction site alone. "You never think it's going to be your friends that happens to," Bum Lee said. "He was a big lovable guy. Everybody called him Godzilla." Bennett was a regular at Lee's gym in Gretna. The two grew up together, and when Lee heard what happened to his longtime friend, he could not believe it.
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Coroner identifies HANO officer found shot to death on Sunday

Posted: 5/25/2015 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — The Orleans Parish Coroner's Office identified the Housing Authority of New Orleans police officer that was found shot to death in a police cruiser on Sunday in Central City. Coroner Dr. Jeffrey Rouse identified the officer as 45-year-old James Bennett Jr. Bennett was found about 7 a.m. Sunday in the 2400 block of Freret Street near Erato Street. The New Orleans Police Department said Bennett was working a patrol assigned to secure a construction site in the area when the shooting occurred. The vehicle was moving at the time of the shooting and it came to rest near the intersection of Freret and Erato streets.
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Cop in New Orleans found shot to death in cruiser

Posted: 5/24/2015 | CBS News
NEW ORLEANS - A police officer for New Orleans' public housing agency was shot and killed Sunday while working overtime to patrol an agency construction site, city police said. The officer is the first to die in the line of duty since the Housing Authority of New Orleans' security department became a full-fledged police force in April 2012, said Lesley Thomas, spokeswoman for the agency. "The death of this HANO police officer is an unspeakable tragedy, and a vile and cowardly act," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in an emailed statement. The officer was 45 years old and had worked for the department since 2013.
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New Orleans Police Officer Shot Dead in Patrol Car

Posted: 5/25/2015 | NBC News
A New Orleans housing authority police officer was shot and killed while sitting in a marked patrol car Sunday morning, according to police. The 45-year-old Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) officer was patrolling a construction site just blocks from the New Orleans Saints' stadium when he was fatally shot, according to a statement from the New Orleans Police Department. Police were called to the scene at 7:10 a.m., and found the officer in his marked patrol car, which had rolled forward and hit a curb, according to the statement.
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HANO officer killed while on patrol

Posted: 5/24/2015 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A Housing Authority of New Orleans officer was fatally shot and found dead in his squad car Sunday morning. According to NOPD Supt. Michael Harrison, the 45-year-old HANO officer was driving in Central City when he was fatally shot. His name is being withheld pending notification of his family. Police responded to the report from HANO that one of their officers was shot at the location around 7:10 a.m.
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Sell them or redevelop them? Debate rages over HANO’s scattered sites

Posted: 5/26/2015 | NOLA.com
The vacant brick building, with its boarded-up windows and sagging roof, stands out in the middle of a block of well-attended Irish Channel homes. It has been empty for nearly a decade, even as the neighborhood around it flourishes. Greg Fortner has a plan to change that. The executive director of the Housing Authority of New Orleans sees the Annunciation Street apartment building and more than 200 other sites like it — spread from Uptown to New Orleans East — as an integral part of the future of the authority and the city.
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I-Team: Vitter, Head accuse HANO of 'hoarding' properties

Posted: 5/13/2015 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — After almost a decade of federal control, the Housing Authority of New Orleans was turned back over to the city last summer. Now, the WDSU I-Team has uncovered allegations of widespread problems. "I'm afraid that the current director and the direction they're going in is completely inappropriate for the city of New Orleans," said City Councilwoman Stacy Head. The problems center on a board that fails to meet contracts that, some say, are being broken, and HANO sitting on dozens upon dozens of unused properties. HANO was in federal receivership from 2002-2014, because the Department of Housing & Urban Development, or HUD, determined the city was incapable of managing tens of millions of dollars in federal money set aside for low income housing.
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New Orleans ended veteran homelessness. Let's do it across America

Posted: 4/24/2015 | The Guardian
On any given night, 50,000 of our nation’s veterans are without a safe place to sleep. As First Lady Michelle Obama said: “When a Veteran comes home kissing the ground, it is unacceptable that he should ever have to sleep on it.” In New Orleans, we have proven it doesn’t have to be this way by becoming the first major city in America to end veteran homelessness. And, in doing so, we developed a model that will not only help other cities end veteran homelessness, but can also guide our efforts in tackling the issues that face this nation’s large homeless population.
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The Iberville Offsites: A Model for Affordable Housing

Posted: 4/21/2015 | Preservation Leadership Forum
New Orleans has never been a city of high-rises but of unique, colorful single-family homes. Yet nearly ten years into our recovery from Hurricane Katrina, the predominant redevelopment strategies are to build large apartment complexes and to rehabilitate schools and office buildings into multiplexes. The Iberville Offsites, 46 historic homes scattered throughout the city’s Tremé and 7th Ward neighborhoods, prove that it is possible to sensitively rehabilitate large numbers of single-family homes and provide affordable housing in the process.
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Michelle Obama joins Mayor Mitch Landrieu to recognize work in housing veterans

Posted: 4/20/2015 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — First Lady Michelle Obama visited New Orleans to recognize the city's efforts to find housing for homeless veterans. Obama and Mayor Mitch Landrieu appeared together Monday morning at Gallier Hall for the event. They were joined by local, state, industry and nonprofit sector leaders. Officials said Obama spoke on efforts in the Crescent City to end veterans' homelessness, a push that she began nationally last summer. Since then, 432 mayors, seven governors and 131 other local officials have pledged to join her campaign this year. Earlier this year, Landrieu touted the project's success in New Orleans after the city became the first in the nation to end veteran homelessness in 2014.
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Michelle Obama congratulates New Orleans for effectively ending veterans homelessness

Posted: 4/23/2015 | NOLA.com
Michelle Obama, appearing at Gallier Hall alongside Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Monday to congratulate New Orleans for being the first major American city to effectively eliminate homelessness among military veterans, announced a trio of new measures aimed at helping cities across the country do the same thing. Obama said the federal government is releasing nearly $65 million in new housing vouchers for veterans, and a new monthly conference call will help coordinate efforts among the cities participating in the first lady’s “Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.”
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First Lady Michelle Obama Joins Mayor Landrieu to Celebrate Progress on Ending Veteran Homelessness

Posted: 4/21/2015 | Real Estate Rama
NEW ORLEANS – April 21, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — First Lady Michelle Obama joined Mayor Mitch Landrieu and about 200 leaders from across government, industry and the non-profit sector to celebrate progress across the country on the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness and to recognize New Orleans for becoming the first major city in America to end Veteran homelessness. The event also marked the fourth anniversary of the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden’s Joining Forces initiative aimed to increase support and opportunities for Veterans.
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Bills would change rules for HANO board in effort to help it get a quorum

Posted: 4/23/2015 | NOLA.com
A pair of bills at the state Legislature — one of them backed by Mayor Mitch Landrieu — could reshape the board that governs public housing in New Orleans, which has been struggling to gather enough members even to hold regular meetings. A measure sponsored by Sen. A.G. Crowe, R-Slidell, at the request of Landrieu, would release the mayor from the requirement that he fill two seats on the Housing Authority of New Orleans’ board with public housing residents nominated by the Citywide Tenants Association.
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New shopping center near Broadmoor aims to bring economic boost to neighborhood

Posted: 5/6/2015 | WDSU
NEW ORLEANS — A new shopping center is opening along Claiborne Avenue near Toledano Street. The center, called the Magnolia Marketplace, has several stores including Michaels, Ross, TJ Maxx, Ulta Beauty, Shoe Carnival and PetSmart. Proponents hope the new shopping area will be an economic boost for the neighborhood by offering discount stores and creating jobs. Rachel Funderburk, who works at the new Ulta Beauty store and lives in the neighborhood, said the shopping center is long overdue. "This is great for the city and the area," she said. "There is energy here and we needed these shopping options." Some say the latest development is changing the landscape of the once-empty area.
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New retail center in Central City provides more than just new shopping options

Posted: 3/8/2015 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Lots of people spent Sunday shopping! A new retail center opened along Claiborne Avenue. It's one residents say shows how far the city has come in the years since Katrina. If the parking lot is any indication, the Magnolia Marketplace is going to be busy! Shopper Terry Willis says, "It's wonderful, we don't have to travel all the way across the river or to Metairie so it's a great option." Located on Claiborne at Louisiana, a portion of this land was part of the old C.J. Peete public housing complex, originally known as the Magnolia Complex. Much of it sat vacant after a new complex, Harmony Oaks, went up. "Seeing this here, after Katrina, it's looking better to me, right in this area," Willis said.
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Groundbreaking for affordable housing for senior citizens

Posted: 2/25/2015 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Soon more senior citizens in New Orleans will have access to affordable housing in the Faubourg Laftitte community. Wednesday marked the official groundbreaking on a 100-unit apartment building just for senior citizens. City, state and federal leaders were there to celebrate the event that was forced inside by the rainy weather. Provident Community Housing is one of the project's partners. President & CEO Terri North called it an "exciting opportunity" for Lafitte-Treme seniors.
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HANO turns over abandoned child report to NOPD

Posted: 2/11/2015 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - HANO police have now finished their investigation into the abandonment of a child on a school bus last week, and have turned it over to the NOPD. Six-year-old Demonte Beasley still has vivid memories of what happened after his bus driver left him behind. Demonte and the security guard who found him wandering on Desire Street Feb. 2 say two women in a red car tried to pick him up before the guard spotted him and called police. "The security guard was right by the car, and the guard told me to come over there," Demonte said.
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FEMA adds $1.5M to housing project funding

Posted: 2/9/2015 | Louisiana Weekly
Eighteen months after breaking ground on the redevelopment of the old Florida public housing complex, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Housing Authority of New Orleans announced February 5 the injection of an additional $1.5 million into the project, already set at a price of $14 million. The extra dollars are the result of reallocated funds used to shore up the redevelopment project. Rep. Cedric Richmond pushed for the additional funding “to ensure that we have access to the vital resources necessary to restore the city for all who call New Orleans home,” according to a statement.
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NOPD calling on HANO, other agencies more frequently

Posted: 1/30/2015 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Police say it's happening more and more: To try and make up for a manpower shortage, officers needing backup are calling for help from a number of agencies, including officers from the Housing Authority of New Orleans. HANO officers - armed and fully commissioned - assisted on two calls in the Ninth Ward on Tuesday night, one on North Roman Street and another on Tricou Street. "It's pretty good. They can't be everywhere, but they try," said resident Derrick Johnson, talking about the NOPD.
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Construction to start on Faubourg Lafitte senior site

Posted: 1/19/2015 | New Orleans City Business
The Housing Authority of New Orleans will move forward this month with construction of the third phase of the Faubourg Lafitte housing project on-site redevelopment. A $15 million permit has been issued for construction of a 100,000-square-foot apartment complex for low-income senior citizens at 700 N. Galvez St. The building is part of a $148 million redevelopment of the Lafitte Projects, one of the so-called “big four” housing developments that were demolished following Hurricane Katrina.
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New Orleans finds homes for every homeless veteran in the city

Posted: 1/12/2015 | Daily KOS
The city of New Orleans has just done something many thought would be impossible—placing every known homeless veteran into housing: At 6 p.m. on Jan. 2, social workers in New Orleans moved the city’s last known homeless veteran into his new apartment – becoming the first US city to effectively eliminate veteran homelessness. Working with a group of local agencies, the city identified 227 veterans and found housing for every single one of them. From New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu: “We owe our Veterans our eternal gratitude for their service and sacrifice to this nation, and making sure they have a place to call home is a small but powerful way we can show our appreciation,” Mayor Landrieu said in a statement Wednesday, announcing that New Orleans had housed all known veterans in the Crescent City.
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New Orleans Site Selected as Study Area for 2015 Hines Competition

Posted: 1/12/2015 | Urban Land
A site in downtown New Orleans has been chosen as the site for the 13th annual Urban Land Institute (ULI) Hines Competition. The ideas competition provides graduate-level student teams with the opportunity to devise a comprehensive design and development program for parts of the Tulane/Gravier and Iberville downtown neighborhoods. The team with the winning proposal will be selected in April and receive $50,000.
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New Orleans Becomes Latest City To End Chronic Veteran Homelessness

Posted: 1/9/2015 | Huffington Post
The streets aren’t quite as rough in the Big Easy anymore. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement on Wednesday that the city has squashed its chronic veteran homelessness issue. The bolstering news actually came ahead of schedule. Together with the White House, the Department of Veterans Affairs has committed to ending chronic veteran homelessness across the country by the end of 2015. According to last year’s point-in-time count, there were an estimated 193 veterans on the streets of New Orleans and on July 4, the mayor committed to getting each one a place to live. By bringing together organizations and agencies that hadn’t previously worked together or shared data in the past, the city managed to surpass its goal in a matter of six months and housed 227 veterans.
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This Major City Just Became the First in America to End Homelessness Among Veterans

Posted: 1/8/2015 | Mic
In a major accomplishment that will hopefully serve as a model for cities around the country, New Orleans has become the first city in the United States to end homelessness among its veteran population, according to ThinkProgress. "I am honored and very pleased to report that we have housed 227 veterans, exceeding our goal of 193, thanks to the hard work of our committed partners," Democratic Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced. "New Orleans is now the first major city in the nation to answer the president and first lady's call to end veteran homelessness – and we did so one year earlier than the federal goal."
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The ‘new’ public housing: mixed-use, mixed-income

Posted: 12/31/2014 | Lagniappe Weekly
Last month, as the Mobile Housing Board decided to move forward with a $750 million redevelopment of public housing communities on the city’s south side, it selected three developers to get a part of the massive project that would transform three of the oldest and most blighted housing developments in the city. Hollyhand Development, Columbia Residential and Pennrose Properties Global Development Group — each of which have experience with similar projects around the country — will get about a third apiece of the 330-acre project, Program Director James Brooks said. The plan is to redevelop R.V. Taylor Plaza, Thomas James Place and Frank W. Boykin Tower. Members of the MHB and staff took tours of housing developments for which the three were responsible in Tuscaloosa, New Brunswick, N.J. and New Orleans.
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Lafitte Greenway to open in Spring 2015

Posted: 12/29/2014 | Gambit Weekly
The idea for the Lafitte Greenway, a 2.6-mile linear park that will run through the heart of New Orleans from Mid-City to Armstrong Park at Basin Street, began after Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures in 2005. For the past eight years, a group of dedicated residents called Friends of Lafitte Corridor (FOLC) has been lobbying and raising money for a park that rides along the old Mid-City railroad tracks.
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HRI Closes on Financing, Third Iberville Rebuild Phase Begins

Posted: 12/29/2014 | NOLA Curbed
It's been over a year since we checked in on the demolition of the Iberville projects and their subsequent reconstruction as a mix of public, workforce and market rate housing, but the $600M project has soldiered on and the third and final phase is set to begin just as phases one and two are ending thanks to $22.8M that HRI Properties just closed with U.S. Bank. All told, 880 units will be available, with 227 of those units move-in ready by March. It comes as a relief that more public housing (304 units) and workforce housing (261 units) will be available to both underserved residents and those who earn less than 60 percent of the median family home income in New Orleans. Also a relief? Former Iberville residents get first dibs. The remaining 315 units are market rate and therefore desirable to the many medical professionals who will be eying areas near the burgeoning BioMedical District. Retail space will also be available, though there's been little information on what all will fill the 4,000 square feet of commercial space.
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Phase three of Iberville rebuild underway

Posted: 12/22/2014 |
Construction is set to begin on the third phase of the sprawling redevelopment of the former Iberville public housing complex for the Housing Authority of New Orleans. HRI Properties, part of the development team managing the $600 million Iberville rebuild, recently closed on financing with U.S. Bank for the $22.8 million third phase. Building permits were issued this past week. The project will add 105 apartments that will be a mix of market-rate units, public housing and workforce housing.
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Residents who live atop city's former dump to hold community meeting

Posted: 9/23/2014 | WDSU
It's a request now decades old. Residents of the Upper Ninth Ward said it's finally time for the city to fulfill its obligation and do the right thing. Despite two decades of litigation and a civil court judgement now years old, just a fraction of people who live atop the former Agriculture Street Landfill, along with the shuttered Moton Elementary and a community center, have seen any of the awarded money. "What is it going to take further for us get the elected officials to understand that we just want a fair shake at life," said Joshua Allen.
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Tenants' association sues Mayor Landrieu over allegedly unfair representation on Housing Authority board

Posted: 9/22/2014 | Louisiana Record
NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has been sued over a disagreement on how commissions to the city’s housing authority board are being handled by administration. City Wide Tenants Association filed suit against Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu, in his official capacity as the Mayor of the City of New Orleans in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court. The suit questions whether Landrieu can appoint elected members of the Tenants Association to the Board of Commissioners.
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New Orleans homeless ordinance has agencies scrambling

Posted: 9/22/2014 | Gambit Weekly
Patrick Lemaire waits for his partner, Trudy, on the edge of the grass around Lee Circle. When she returns, they'll split a pizza and a pack of cigarettes, and after sundown, sleep under a nearby parking garage. He's followed the same schedule nearly every day since he became homeless earlier this year. Lemaire, a former Marine and construction worker, spends most days near Lee Circle, a few blocks from the Pontchartrain Expressway overpass where city officials have made attempts to break up the "tent city" where a few dozen homeless people have camped. "That's no way to live," Lemaire says.
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Ex-HANO director’s firm under investigation by HUD

Posted: 9/14/2014 | NOLA.com
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is conducting a criminal probe that is examining the consulting firm led by former Housing Authority of New Orleans Executive Director David Gilmore, who was brought in to right the troubled agency in 2009, HUD’s Office of the Inspector General has confirmed. According to the OIG, HUD’s Office of Investigations is scrutinizing Gilmore Kean Consulting, a Washington, D.C.-based firm whose principal, Gilmore, ran the local Housing Authority for five years ending in April. HANO also is part of an investigation by the office, the OIG said.
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Canal Street site fills housing need, spurs growth

Posted: 9/3/2014 | New Orleans City Business
When she came to New Orleans from Oregon in 2009, Jacqueline Hughes Mooney settled into a rental property in eastern New Orleans. When the possibility of living downtown became a reality, she jumped at the chance. Mooney is one of 104 tenants in the Marais Apartments at 1501 Canal St., the 17-story office building converted into a residential tower for senior citizens. She said the building helps fill a need for senior housing that is severely lacking in the core of the city.
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Senior Apartments Open At Iberville

Posted: 8/28/2014 | WWNO
Officials are gathering at the old Texaco building on Canal Street Thursday morning to mark its transformation from corporate to residential use. The 17-story tower is now a home for seniors on a low fixed incomes. The building is now called Marais Apartments. It overlooks renovations and construction at the former Iberville public housing development at Canal and Marais streets. The $35 million project created 112 one-bedroom apartments set aside for people 62 years old or more, and it’s just about filled. Josh Collen is vice president of development for HRI Properties, which worked with the Housing Authority of New Orleans to redevelop the building.
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Gregg Fortner: People to Watch Class of 2014

Posted: 8/26/2014 | My New Orleans
As executive director for the Miami-Dade Public Housing and Community Development Department, Gregg Fortner managed a $435 million annual budget, a profile of 9,000 federal- and state-funded housing units and 18,000 Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, as well as being responsible for the administration of the Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnership, Neighborhood Stabilization and Documentary Stamp Surtax programs for Miami-Dade County.
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Nonprofit’s head embezzled federal funds, prosecutors say

Posted: 8/22/2014 | NOLA.com
The head of a faith-based nonprofit that has worked to rebuild the Upper 9th Ward is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court next week on charges she stole tens of thousands of dollars from the federal government. Marcia Peterson, who served as executive director of CDC 58:12, a community development group, was charged last month with theft of government funds and wire fraud. Court records show she plans to change her earlier “not guilty” plea, but it’s not clear which charges she will admit to at an Aug. 27 hearing.
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Non-profit-owned property could generate much-needed tax revenue

Posted: 7/23/2014 | FOX-8 Live
City government could definitely use more funds for police, the Fire Fighters' Pension Fund and street repair. And some City Council members argue that putting more property owned by non-profits on the city's tax rolls is a great place to start. "Number one, we have to spend our money very wisely, but number two, we have to collect every single dollar that's due to the city, so that the tax burden is borne equitably," said City Councilwoman-at-Large Stacy Head. "We have at least 15,000 parcels, and that is in the billions of dollars in market value.
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Miami official chosen to lead New Orleans housing agency

Posted: 7/1/2014 | NOLA.com
The head of the Miami-Dade County public housing agency in Florida has been tapped to lead the Housing Authority of New Orleans as it returns to local governance after more than a decade under federal control. Gregg Fortner, a New Orleans native, was selected following a national search by a special advisory panel put together by Mayor Mitch Landrieu. He has signed a two-year contract that begins July 7 and includes an option for a one-year extension. Fortner will receive an annual salary of $200,000 to start.
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HANO picks new executive director

Posted: 6/26/2014 | New Orleans City Business
The Housing Authority of New Orleans has chosen its first executive director who will oversee the agency once it returns to local control. Gregg Fortner, a New Orleans native, will start his new job on July 7. He comes to HANO with more than 20 years of executive-level experience at several public housing authorities. Fortner currently serves as executive director of the Miami-Dade Public Housing and Community Development Department where he oversees $435 million annual budget, 9,000 public housing units. Fortner previously served as the deputy executive director and chief administrative officer for the Oakland Housing Authority, executive director for the San Francisco Housing Authority and held several management and administrative positions at the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, the Housing Authority of Los Angeles County and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles.
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Agency restarts bid process for Faubourg Lafitte site

Posted: 6/19/2014 | New Orleans City Business
With the initial round of bids coming in over budget, the Housing Authority of New Orleans has issued a new request for bids for the third phase of the Faubourg Lafitte housing project on-site redevelopment. The agency is currently reviewing the new set of bids for construction of a 100,000-square-foot apartment complex for low-income senior citizens at 700 N. Galvez St. The building is part of a $148 million redevelopment of Lafitte, one of the so-called “big four” housing developments that were demolished following Hurricane Katrina. Project architects from Blitch Knevel recently submitted an application for a $15 million building permit for the construction.
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Public housing soon back in New Orleans' hands

Posted: 5/28/2014 | The Washington Times
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - More than a decade after chronic mismanagement led to a federal takeover, the Housing Authority of New Orleans will officially return to local control July 1, city and federal officials said Wednesday. The New Orleans Advocate (https://bit.ly/1kLBugV ) reports U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed a transition agreement authorizing the formal hand-off.
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HUD secretary signs transition agreement for HANO transfer

Posted: 5/28/2014 | FOX-8 Live
Jerome Walker has lived in public housing for over 50 years. He started out in the older units that many locals referred to as the "bricks." Walker vividly recalls the cramped conditions that families endured over the years. "One bedroom with 10 to 12 people," he said as he sat on the porch of his neat and modern house that is part of the redeveloped Guste Homes. Walker is excited about the modern housing he now enjoys.
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Habitat wants to build on Bywater block

Posted: 4/16/2014 | New Orleans City Business
A proposal is in the works to bring a new mixed-income residential and commercial development to an undeveloped riverfront block in the Bywater neighborhood. New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity wants to build a collection of single-family and multi-unit buildings on a roughly 1.8-acre tract of land the Housing Authority of New Orleans owns. Its plan is part of a request for proposals HANO issued last year to develop the block bounded by Royal, France, Chartres and Mazant streets. Habitat is one of five bidders that submitted development proposals and the only one to make its plans public. HANO spokeswoman Lesley Thomas said the agency is committed to redeveloping affordable housing on the property.
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Building Homes and a Multi-Racial Construction Industry in New Orleans

Posted: 3/31/2014 | Next City
Alfred Marshall was among the roughly 25 percent of residents of the B.W. Cooper public housing complex — more commonly known as the Calliope Projects — who were allowed to remain in their homes as developers tore down most of it in 2011. The demolition of the Calliope, which housed more than 4,000 people before Hurricane Katrina, was part of a highly controversial effort after the storm to redevelop all of the city’s traditional housing projects.
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HUD awards $37.6M to help preserve public housing

Posted: 3/20/2014 | New Orleans City Business
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded $37.6 million to 102 Louisiana public housing authorities to make major large-scale improvements. The grants, announced Wednesday, are provided through HUD’s Capital Fund Program, which provides annual funding to about 3,100 public housing authorities to build, repair, renovate and/or modernize the public housing in their communities. The Housing Authority of New Orleans is getting the largest grant, $15 million. The Housing Authority of Monroe will receive $2.1 million, followed by the Housing Authority of East Baton Rouge, $1.4 million, the Housing Authority of Shreveport, $1.089 million, the Housing Authority of the City of Alexandria, $1.074 million, and the Housing Authority of Lake Charles at $1.048 million.
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U.S. Bank Closes on Financing for Historic Iberville Housing Redevelopment in New Orleans

Posted: 3/5/2014 | Market Watch
NEW ORLEANS, Mar 05, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- U.S. Bank will provide more than $20.6 million in federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity financing, in addition to construction lending, for New Orleans-based HRI Properties’ redevelopment of the historic 72-year-old Iberville housing project in New Orleans’ iconic Treme neighborhood. The financing package marks the second major affordable housing development financed by U.S. Bank in New Orleans since mid-2011.
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New Orleans Projects Get a Lift

Posted: 3/4/2014 | The Wall Street Journal
Mardi Gras revelers in New Orleans have another reason to celebrate: The conversion of a long-shuttered office building into apartments for low-income senior citizens is almost complete and soon will start accepting residents, marking a milestone in the city's efforts to transform one of its poorest neighborhoods. The building, which once housed Texaco Inc., now is the Marais apartment building, with 112 units designed for families with heads of households over 62 years of age.
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Faubourg Lafitte housing project eyes advancement

Posted: 2/24/2014 | New Orleans City Business
The Housing Authority of New Orleans will soon be ready to move forward with the third phase of the Faubourg Lafitte housing project redevelopment. The agency recently accepted bids for construction of a 100,000-square-foot apartment complex for low-income senior citizens at 700 N. Galvez St. The building is part of a $148 million redevelopment of Lafitte, one of the so-called “big four” housing developments that were demolished following Hurricane Katrina.
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Cynthia Hedge-Morrell's camp responds after complaints filed against her

Posted: 2/19/2014 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) – The Cynthia Hedge-Morrell camp responded Tuesday after her opponent in the race for an at-large seat filed formal complaints against her. Jason Williams says Hedge-Morrell broke election laws. Cynthia Hedge-Morrell wouldn't talk to us on camera Tuesday when we tracked her down at a campaign event, instead referring us to her campaign manager, Todd Ragusa. We wanted to get her reaction to the allegations brought by Jason Williams, the man running against her for a city council at-large seat.
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Complaints to be filed against Cynthia Hedge-Morrell for Election Day incident

Posted: 2/18/2014 | FOX-8 Live
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - One of the candidates vying for an at-large seat on the New Orleans City Council is preparing to file formal complaints against current Council member Cynthia Hedge-Morrell. Jason Williams says Hedge-Morrell violated election laws by handing out election material to residents at a polling place on Election Day. Council-at-large candidate Jason Williams is angry over what he believes happened.
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‘Educare New Orleans’ a poster program for closing the education gap

Posted: 2/17/2014 | MinnPost
When Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans in 2005, eight and a half feet of water rendered the St. Bernard Housing Community completely uninhabitable. The city’s second-largest public housing complex, St. Bernard had been in decline for years. More than a third of its 1,400 dilapidated units were boarded up. In the four years before the storm, it was the site of almost 700 felony crimes, including 42 murders. More than half of the 5,800 people displaced were children with no clear-cut path out. Only half of the projects’ adult residents had jobs. Fewer than 8 percent had a college degree; nearly 12 percent had less than a ninth-grade education.
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Wisner Dog Run opens, signalling new day for dog parks in New Orleans

Posted: 1/12/2014 | Uptown Messenger
In December, the city of New Orleans announced the opening of the Wisner Dog Run, the first free, official place for dogs to play without a leash in the city limits, accomplished by a maze of new fencing between the existing Wisner Park softball field, basketball courts and playgrounds that allows pets ample room to romp. “This is something that people in the neighborhood have been waiting for for a very long time,” said Sam Winston of the Friends of Wisner Park. “People are just thrilled.”
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