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.”

The $12 million comes from a partnership between the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) and the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (HANO), both of which will be increasing their  investments in traditionally underserved neighborhoods

In 2015, the city launched HousingNola, a community led initiative to address the city’s affordable housing needs. Last year, HousingNola announced a strategy to increase affordable housing in New Orleans by 7,500 units by 2021. The work will be accomplished through four complementary goals:

1) Support development of new affordable rental and homeownership opportunities.
2) Preserve affordability and quality of existing rental and homeownership opportunities.

3) Expand access to opportunity and promote mobility by leveraging the Assessment of Fair Housing and other fair housing principles.

4) Increase accessibility for vulnerable populations.

With the razing of traditional public housing that was replaced by fewer mixed income units as well as the growth in the luxury rental market, New Orleans has faced major challenges in the area of affordable housing, particularly since Hurricane Katrina.

“I am excited that we’ve completed this next step to preserve and increase affordable housing in New Orleans,” said Ellen Lee, Director of Housing Policy and Community Development“We made a commitment to all New Orleanians that every citizen would have the opportunity to benefit from the growth our city is experiencing and that includes quality, affordable housing.”