Saturday, September 19, 2015

Is the rent too damn high?

The rent is quantifiably too damn high.
The City of New Orleans has changed drastically from 2000 to 2015. This section examines key demographic trends at the city and neighborhood level. The metrics included in this section are of particular importance to the housing market and the health of neighborhoods.

Between 2000 and 2015, the City of New Orleans experienced substantial shifts in population, households, income and housing. Among the significant changes are:

•The population decreased by 28%, and households decreased by 21%.

•The African American population has declined 34% (112,315 African American residents) since 2000. In 2013, 60% of the city’s population is African American, down from 67% in 2000.

•The average size of households dropped slightly–by 6%, from 2.48 people per household in 2000 to 2.33 in 2013.

•The proportion of single households or households made up of unrelated people rose by 2%, the number of people living alone has increased by 6%, and the number of non-family households has increased by 7%

There was a significant decrease in the percentage of the population under 18, while the portion of the population between 19 and 34 years of age rose.

The city’s poverty rate remains incredibly high at 28% (100,605 residents living in poverty), an overall increase of 2% since 2000.

Median household income remains unchanged since 2000, at approximately $37,000.

•The proportion of high-income households increased dramatically,while the proportion of very-low income households rose slightly.

•Educational attainment increased, with a particularly sharp drop in the percentage of individuals who did not complete high school.

Housing costs rose dramatically for both renters and homeowners. Home values have increased by 54%, and rents have increased 50%

•Homeownership rates remained unchanged,decreasing from 46% to 45%, still well below the national average of over 60%.
Those are bullet points from the Housing NOLA preliminary report.  The project is continuing to host meetings and collect data toward creating a set of policy recommendations to deal with the worsening housing problem in New Orleans.

The Advocate gives the notion that this might be a good idea, a soft endorsement. 
Affordable housing is going to be a challenge in New Orleans, and not only because of the impact of the 2005 storms and flooding. There is also a need to connect people with jobs so that the entire community can benefit from growth and rising prosperity.

The market will, we believe, respond in time to the need for more affordable housing, but a coherent HousingNOLA plan for the next decade could be a strong strategy for bringing all the players into the game.
"The market" is responding by driving up the cost of living for everybody.  Maybe someone should do something. 

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