BATON ROUGE, La. – December 16, 2020 – In light of the dire need for quality, safe, affordable, and accessible housing following the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricanes Delta and Laura, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome is joining the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) in activating Louisiana's Housing Heroes Initiative.
Housing Heroes is a statewide initiative that works to identify apartments and other rental housing that are move-in ready or have upcoming availability. A significant affordable housing shortage currently plagues Louisiana. Housing Heroes promotes an inclusive strategy to identify and assess readiness critical to the state's ongoing recovery.
“Throughout this year, Baton Rouge has faced historic adversity — from the coronavirus pandemic, to an active hurricane season — many of our residents are facing economic hardships,” said Mayor Broome. “I am looking forward to working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Louisiana Housing Corporation to address our community’s needs for affordable housing.”
Housing Heroes aims to provide affordable housing opportunities for approximately 2,000 households — 579 to individuals and families transitioning from non-congregate shelters and 1,549 for renters and homeowners impacted by Hurricanes Delta and Laura.
"The ramifications of COVID-19 and Hurricanes Laura and Delta have added to our state's existing affordable housing crisis," said LHC Executive Director E. Keith Cunningham, Jr. "By addressing the housing needs of individuals and families, our landlords and property owners ensure the viability of Louisiana's communities for years to come."
In May 2020, the LHC and Louisiana's Continuums of Care providers launched a non-congregate shelter initiative to temporarily house more than 1,200 homeless individuals in hotels across the State. Data from the most recent non-congregate shelter census indicates that 551 individuals and families still need access to permanent supportive housing.
Also contributing to the need for more affordable housing are the severe impacts of Hurricanes Laura and Delta. In November, the State reported 18,213 evacuees from Hurricane Laura across Louisiana and Texas. As of December 4, 2020, 1,549 Louisianans remained in shelters — 1,499 from Hurricane Laura, 104 from Hurricane Delta, and 36 from Hurricane Zeta. To date, 26 of the Louisiana’s 64 parishes have been declared federal disaster areas.
Housing Heroes will utilize outreach tools such as the media, statewide associations, chambers of commerce, and state and local governments to appeal to single and multifamily landlords with available affordable rental units. These units may include apartments, single-family homes, and mobile homes. To post or update any available vacancies, landlords and property owners can visit www.LAHousingSearch.org or dial 1-877-428-8844 (toll-free).
Assistance may also be available for some property owners who participate in the initiative. The Multifamily Lease and Repair Program (MLRP) allows FEMA to enter into an agreement to cover the cost of repairs and improvements to existing multifamily rental properties for the purpose of providing temporary housing for households displaced due to Hurricane Laura. For more information about the MLRP, interested parties may contact Marvin R. Jennings at firstname.lastname@example.org or John Clemons at email@example.com