Thursday, January 05, 2017

The Year of Evictions

2017 and thereafter promises to be fun in New Orleans.
New Orleans' subsidized housing market is likely to see similar evictions in the coming years as federal grant programs expire and property owners begin flipping previously "affordable" units to market rate and luxury apartments. Breonne DeDecker with Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative told WWL-TV that "what's happening at the American Can we're going to see play out over and over again in coming next 10 to 15 years here in New Orleans."

About 1,200 subsidies are set to expire by 2021, and nearly 4,900 will expire by 2031. These expirations will effect more than 100 New Orleans housing developments, including apartment complexes in the CBD and more in Mid-City. Mid-City is soon to get another large-scale apartment development with the construction of a 382-unit apartment complex set just behind the American Can building on the Lafitte Greenway. That development will have a dozen affordably priced units as part of a "density bonus" allowing developers to build bigger than allowed under the area's zoning as long as they open units to lower-income residents. District B City Councilmember LaToya Cantrell proposed instead that developers instead chip $644,000 into a housing assistance fund to provide up to $46,000 to help with a down payment on a house for low-income families in the area; many housing advocates say that undermines the goal of creating more affordable units, particularly as mortgages still would be well out of range for most lower-income families.
LaToya Cantrell's ineffectual response there is telling.  She's gearing up to run for mayor this year and that means keeping the landlords happy. Cantrell's base support combines young 'treps, real estate developers, and Get-Off-My-Lawn neighborhood association types.  Yeah there are some contradictory faults in that coalition, but most of them agree on Cantrell.  It makes her an early and obvious frontrunner. But it also frequently requires her to turn a blind eye to the city's most vulnerable.

LaToya once told us 2015 would be "The Year Of Enforcement"

A few years later we see Cantrell has led the way in ramping up its enforcement apparatus against people who commit minor traffic violations, homeless people, and.. I guess... anyone who wants to shelter homeless people too close our nice things.  Meanwhile the crime (assuming LaToya meant violent crime) and the short term rentals and such, we're still pretty permissive of. 

So as long as we're living in the Year Of Enforcement for the poors but not for the rich, we're going to also be living the Year Of Evictions now and on into the future.

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