A New Orleans Nonprofit is Creating Affordable Housing

All around the country, housing prices are in flux as the economy swings wildly between recession, stagnation, and growth and as housing bubbles are formed and then burst. Cities are the most affected by these changes in the housing market and people living close to or under the poverty line are being increasingly marginalized and forced to move over and over again away from desirable locations and neighborhoods. With the way the trend is currently going, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that these issues are just going to continue in the future and possibly even be exacerbated. This means that more and more people are going to be priced out of affordable housing and forced to move into isolated communities away from services.jonathan offt, new orleans, public housing, cedar rapids, iowa

One new non-profit in New Orleans is seeing what’s happening to neighborhoods around the country and have decided they’ve had enough. The Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative is a newly created non-profit that focuses on building permanently affordable housing in New Orleans, focusing on the Mid-City neighborhood. So far, the initiative only has one building that’s undergoing renovations and in a delicious twist of irony, it’s only 3 blocks away from a massive $2 billion hospital complex that’s being constructed. The organization is working on a four-plex and is using a model called community land trust so that the apartments will be committed to low and moderate-income families in the future.

A community land trust is a nonprofit that develops land and housing, aimed at homeownership, that is directed by and on behalf of the neighborhood residents. The Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative was created in 2008 and was planning on waiting before starting any development. They bought their building in 2010 and only started working on it when they heard the news of the hospital complex being built, knowing that prices in the area would skyrocket higher when the hospital was completed. Because the building is held under a community trust, all the money being poured into the project is being invested for future generations. The trust allows rent prices to remain flexible, regardless of rising rents around the building. With both private and public funding being offered to the project, this could very well be the future of affordable public housing and that’s not a bad thing at all.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.