Today (Thursday, Aug. 6), Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced an effort to assemble a private and philanthropic network of support housing insecure residents to stem a potential landslide of evictions, and to help as many families as possible retain the home they have. The Mayor’s Fund is now accepting tax-deductible donations that will directly prevent the eviction and homelessness of at-risk residents.
With the expiration of the CARES ACT provisions such as the eviction moratorium and enhanced unemployment compensation and Congress at an impasse on additional coronavirus relief, thousands of New Orleanians may soon be evicted and become homeless as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“New Orleanians have a track record of helping our neighbors when disaster strikes and things get tough. We know from firsthand experience that we can’t wait on the cavalry—our community has to be the cavalry,” said Mayor Cantrell. “The COVID-19 pandemic has hit cities and our people disproportionately and the needs have outpaced the resources, but we’re going to get through as we always have, together.”
The Mayor’s Fund is administered by Forward Together New Orleans (FTNO), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that launched in 2018 by Mayor Cantrell. FTNO is an effort to bridge the public and private sectors to address New Orleans’ most pressing challenges. Today, that challenge is the COVID-19 pandemic, a public health and economic catastrophe.
In early April, the City opened a rental assistance program that received over 8,300 applications, exhausting the available resources. The funding for the first round of rental assistance was a combination of philanthropic contributions and local government funds via the Neighborhood Housing Improvement Fund (NHIF). On July 27, the City opened a second round of emergency rental relief for Orleans Parish renters in imminent danger of eviction. Funding for both of these programs was insufficient to satisfy the need.
Contributions to the Mayor’s Fund can be made at https://givebutter.com/RentalAssistance