The Maroon

Local affordable housing officials discuss budget concerns

Andreanecia+Morris%2C+executive+director+of+HousingNOLA%2C+leads+a+panel+discussion+about+affordable+housing+issues+facing+New+Orleans.+The+panel+was+held+at+The+Albert+%26+Tina+Small+Center+for+Collaborative+Design.+Photo+credit%3A+Jamal+Melancon
Andreanecia Morris, executive director of HousingNOLA, leads a panel discussion about affordable housing issues facing New Orleans. The panel was held at The Albert & Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design. Photo credit: Jamal Melancon

Andreanecia Morris, executive director of HousingNOLA, leads a panel discussion about affordable housing issues facing New Orleans. The panel was held at The Albert & Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design. Photo credit: Jamal Melancon

Andreanecia Morris, executive director of HousingNOLA, leads a panel discussion about affordable housing issues facing New Orleans. The panel was held at The Albert & Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design. Photo credit: Jamal Melancon

Jamal Melancon

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With a new mayor and new members of City Council on the way, affordable housing officials reached out to the community to get them involved in the budgeting process.

The Albert & Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design hosted a red beans roundtable on Aug. 21 for a panel of affordable housing officials to speak about the issues facing New Orleans. Among those in attendance were Kelly Foster, campaign director for Committee for a Better New Orleans; Andreanecia Morris, executive director of HousingNOLA; and Andy Kopplin, president and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

Morris explained that she and her fellow panelists decided to have this meeting once they found out hearings before the city council would not be happening this year. She said they needed to figure out where the allocation of funds needed to come from in the city.

“Almost 40 percent of the renters in this city spend more than 50 percent of their gross pay on housing costs, so this is the second-worst housing market for renters in the country,” Morris said.

Morris and her colleagues’ call to action suggests that the city mainly gathers its financial resources from short-term rental revenue.

“Now we’re seeing only about a half a million dollars of short-term rental money being made available to create affordable housing, and we don’t think that is enough,” Morris said.

Kopplin, who praised some mayoral candidates for attending the panel, said there are not many mayoral campaigns advocating to take away money from the NOPD, but that’s where a lot of the city’s money is going.

The panelists urged the community to contact city council officials with their concerns and ideas heard at the meeting for how to allocate more money to affordable housing.

The city council’s 2018 proposed budget hearings will be held on Sept. 6 in the council chambers at New Orleans City Hall.

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About the Writer
Jamal Melancon, Senior Staff Writer
Two international opera stars, Irini Kyriakidou and Bryan Hemel, launched the opera season at Loyola by giving a master class each, prior to a performance in Roussel Performance Hall.
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Local affordable housing officials discuss budget concerns