Following each Listening Tour, HousingLOUISIANA sends out surveys of challenges expressed by communities to develop priorities for each region. The priorities are ultimately used to develop the statewide housing priorities, which are also used to inform a Legislative Agenda for upcoming Legislative Sessions.
This year, those stories and conditions have been exacerbated by the growing displacement of low-income households due to both the disasters impacting our state including the COVID-19 pandemic and various hurricanes and storms from which communities have not yet recovered. We have a shortage of over 100,000 units of affordable and accessible housing for households with incomes below 50% area median income across the state.
2023 STATEWIDE PRIORITIES
Louisiana Needs a Strong and Well-Funded Housing Trust Fund Now!
To address the ongoing housing needs and respond more quickly to emerging disasters, we must invest in and strengthen Louisiana’s Housing Trust Fund. Following Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana invested over $500 million in the Louisiana Housing Trust Fund and more than quadrupled its investment by leveraging other resources that contributed to the creation of thousands of housing units in areas most devastated Katrina and other storms that followed it.
- Create a designated revenue streams for local and Statewide Housing Trust Fund to increase affordable housing production goals to meet the needs of low-income families and commit to including the Neighborhood Housing Improvement Fund (NHIF) reauthorization and funding increase on the ballot in 2023.
- Create designated revenue streams for local and Statewide Housing Trust Fund to increase affordable housing production along with a renter’s registry.
- Addressing the lack of local control for organizations and programs receiving state funding / no ability for localities to recapture funds from state programs.
- Making sure polices occur federally and expanding opportunities for the Affordable Care Act and insurance for low-income residents.
- Disaster mitigation techniques should be in place to guarantee that disaster consequences are minimized.
- Increasing Capital (increase existing funding to create more housing, secure new funding sources, and use current resources more efficiently)
- Develop a streamline assistance for natural disasters.
Louisiana’s Families Need More Opportunities to Own a Home
To move our state forward, we must also help struggling families increase their economic mobility and make homeownership possible for them. There are several strategies that HousingLOUISIANA champions including:
- Increase voucher and housing opportunities for those who don't qualify for permanent supportive housing.
- For low and moderate-income renters, increase home-ownership opportunities by utilizing Section 8 home-ownership program, mobile home-ownership as an affordable option, and "Soft Second Programs" (a second mortgage with payments that are forgiven, deferred, or subsidized in some fashion, generally until resale of the mortgaged property).
- Focus on CDBG funding to invest in rehab programs to help residents rebuild their homes; and maximize incentives and subsidies for developers to build more affordable homes.
- Develop a strategy to help homeowners who do not have the funds for necessary home repairs.
- Create more opportunities for low-income residents to become homeowners due to the influx of new folks and gentrification.
- Increase and re-strategize communication with the community to ensure that persons in need are aware of available resources.
- Create more Rapid Rehousing services for residents on the edge of homelessness.
- Find/develop housing options for formerly incarcerated persons and to include registered sex offenders.
- Provide emergency or transitional accommodation for the homeless in general, as well as people fleeing domestic violence.
- Provide shelters that follow the housing-first concept.
- Ensure that Landlord-tenant rules should be strengthened.
We Must Reduce the Extremely High Housing Cost Burden of Lowest Income Households
Over 86% of Louisiana’s households considered extremely low-income (incomes below 30% area median income) are also extremely cost burdened – spending over 50% of their income in rent. This housing cost burden can be reduced by tackling several factors including conditions and utility costs. Below are several strategies:
- Ensure that affordable housing does not equate to substandard housing by setting habitability requirements for landlords and the city to abide by.
- Increase the number of multifamily units with lower living costs and single-family homeownership alternatives.
- Increase equitable development with the intent to undo the negative impacts of redlining.
- Rehab blighted homes to prevent the housing supply from being lost
- Hold politicians accountable and demand action with innovation by removing old commercial buildings to provide housing and affordable units to those in need.
- Remove outdated legislation that prevents opportunities for the creation of group homes and other shared living scenarios.
- Educating communities about the need for affordable housing to reduce the existing stigma and NIMBY(not in my back yard) ideology.
- Develop a rental registry to improve housing conditions for low-income families that could help improve their health-related costs.
- Create more opportunities for low-income residents to become homeowners due to influx of new folks and gentrification.
- Hold utility companies accountable for making housing unaffordable because of energy costs.
- Create Energy efficiency and weatherization programs to address expensive utility bills.
- Invest in sustainable development (energy efficiency, solar energy, weatherization, long-term floodwater management planning, etc) for the creation of quality neighborhoods throughout the state.
- Invest in sustainable development for quality neighborhoods as well as weatherization upgrades for older housing stock.
- Grade the Louisiana Public Service Commission performance in helping communities and helping utility companies.
REGIONAL PRIORITIES BY THE YEAR
Acadiana Regional Priorities
Baton Rouge Regional Priorities
Central Louisiana Housing Alliance Priorities
Houma/Thibodaux Regional Priorities
Lake Charles Regional Priorities
Monroe Regional Priorities
New Orleans Regional Priorities
Northshore Regional Priorities
Shreveport Regional Priorities
Statewide Regional Priorities