New Orleans Leverages New Federal Housing Rule as Gentrification Tool

New Orleans is among the first cities to respond to the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Affirmatively Furthering Affordable Housing rule.

1 minute read

October 5, 2016, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

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Jessica Williams reports: "Long divided by race and class, New Orleans has become even more segregated in recent years, and residents in majority-black neighborhoods often have the least access to jobs, affordable housing and other opportunities, according to a recently released plan that city officials say could help solve those issues."

"The plan, mandated under a new U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development rule, seeks to ameliorate the woes of minority communities by investing in neighborhoods that have long been less well off than others," adds Williams. "Separately, it seeks to make it easier for residents of those areas to move to whiter, more affluent areas that have prospered."

The federal rule Williams refers to: the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, released in its final form in July 2015. New Orleans is one of about 12 cities experimenting with the federal mandate, so the current plan could end up as a model for other cities around the country.

"In New Orleans, advocates hope the new federal requirements will focus attention on the city’s affordable housing shortage, which officials and housing advocates say is partly due to post-Hurricane Katrina gentrification as well as to zoning policies that keep multiple-family developments out of certain neighborhoods," explains Williams.

The article includes a lot more fine-grained analysis, digging into the recommendations of the report for specific neighborhoods in New Orleans.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 in The New Orleans Advocate

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