Program Aims to Increase Louisiana’s Affordable Housing Rental Capacity
In light of the dire need for quality, safe, affordable and accessible housing following the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and Hurricanes Delta and Laura, Alexandria Mayor Jeffrey W. Hall is joining the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) in activating Louisiana’s Housing Heroes Initiative.
Housing Heroes is a statewide initiative that works to identify apartment and rental housing opportunities that are move-in ready or have upcoming availability. A significant affordable housing shortage currently plagues Louisiana.
Housing Heroes promotes an inclusive strategy to identify and assess readiness critical to the state’s ongoing recovery. “The devastation from Hurricanes Laura and Delta left many families homeless, particularly in southwestern Louisiana, but also in Central Louisiana,” said Hall. “These individuals need help as they work to rebuild their lives. Due to COVID, we need to work to get people out of congregant shelters and into safe, affordable rental housing until they can get back on their feet. I believe this program can provide significant relief not only for hurricane survivors, but for all of our homeless population by increasing affordable housing opportunities throughout Alexandria and Central Louisiana.”
Housing Heroes aims to provide affordable housing opportunities for approximately 2,100 households – 523 to individuals and families transitioning from non-congregant shelters and 1,636 for renters and homeowners impacted by natural disasters.
“The ramifications of COVID-19 and an active hurricane season have added to our state’s existing affordable housing crisis.” said LHC Executive Director E. Keith Cunningham, Jr. “By addressing the housing needs of individuals and families, our landlords and property owners ensure the viability of Louisiana’s communities for years to come.”
In May, the LHC and Louisiana’s Continuums of Care launched a non-congregant shelter initiative to temporarily house more than 1,200 homeless individuals in hotels across the state. Data from the most recent non-congregant shelter census indicates that 523 individuals and families still require permanent supportive housing access.
In November, the state reported 18,213 hurricane evacuees across Louisiana and Texas. As of December 4, 2020, 1,603 Louisianans were being sheltered across six New Orleans hotels. Housing Heroes will utilize outreach tools such as the media, statewide associations, chambers of commerce and state and local governments to appeal to single and multifamily landlords with affordable rental units. These units may include apartments, single-family homes and mobile homes. To post or update any available vacancies, landlords and property owners can visit www.LAHousingSearch.org or dial 1-877-428-8844 (toll-free).
Assistance may also be available for some property owners who participate in the initiative. The Multifamily Lease and Repair Program (MLRP) allows FEMA to enter into an agreement to cover the cost of repairs and improvements to existing multifamily rental properties for the purpose of providing temporary housing for households displaced due to hurricanes.
Visit the City of Alexandria Website: https://www.cityofalexandriala.com/