New Orleans is in the throes of a housing crisis. Much of GNOFHAC’s work in recent years has been to fight displacement and make sure that New Orleans is a community where long-term residents can stay and thrive. We’ve seen renters pushed out of their homes by rent spikes and out of town investors prioritizing tourist housing like AirBnB. Even homeowners who have lived in their houses for years—sometimes generations—are losing their homes due to skyrocketing property taxes. In response to this crisis, advocates have pushed the city to take action to lessen the displacement of long-term residents. In August New Orleans City Council passed new rules to restrict short term rentals, and on October 12th New Orleans voters will have another opportunity to keep New Orleanians in New Orleans.
A statewide constitutional amendment on this year’s ballot would allow the City of New Orleans to control its own property taxes and offer relief in exchange for affordable housing. Constitutional Amendment 4 comes with support from both sides of the political aisle, having been endorsed by Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. This bipartisan support is a rare find in Louisiana, and Mayor Cantrell’s office attributes that to the proposition’s ability to “provide local solutions to local problems”.
Among those solutions is a plan suggested by Mayor Cantrell which promises to take concrete actions to ensure housing relief for New Orleanians. The plan has two main pieces. The first would address the spike in tax assessments and provide tax relief for homeowners to ensure property taxes stay affordable for long-term, low-income homeowners and first-time homebuyers. The second piece of Mayor Cantrell’s plan is to incentivize small landlords and builders to increase the number of affordable rental units on the market.
New Orleans need its long-term residents and a #YesOn4 vote means we’ll be able to set our own rules with the New Orleans City Council rather than at the state legislature in Baton Rouge. We hope you will join us in getting out the word and getting out the vote on October 12th, because we know that when New Orleans can take care of itself, the whole state thrives.