Affordable Housing Impact Statements Introduced in New Orleans
(APN) ATLANTA — A progressive policy trend appears to have started in Atlanta. The City of New Orleans, Louisiana, will consider following in Atlanta’s footsteps in adopting Affordable Housing Impact Statements as a policy tool to help the metropolitan area grapple with its affordable housing crisis, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.
New Orleans City Councilman Jared Brossett (District D) introduced the legislation at the December 10, 2015 Council Meeting.
The City of Atlanta became the first U.S. city to adopt the model legislation for Affordable Housing Impact Statements authored by the News Editor of Atlanta Progressive News, when the City Council unanimously adopted the legislation in November 2015.
Now, with the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, also considering the model legislation, New Orleans becomes the third city to officially consider the model ordinance.
Both the prefatory and operative language of the New Orleans ordinance is modeled on the Atlanta ordinance.
“By introducing this legislation, I hope to bring equity to the housing stock in New Orleans,” said District “D” Councilman Brossett said in a statement.
“Many of our citizens and workforce in New Orleans are living paycheck to paycheck while paying 55% of income towards rent. They can’t catch a break. Affordable housing is of great need in New Orleans.
“I look forward to hearing from the community about this important piece of legislation. I will continue to collaborate with the stakeholders, like HousingNOLA, to promote equitable housing solutions and improve housing options for all. I’d like to thank Councilmember Cantrell for co-sponsoring this legislation and her leadership on inclusive zoning matters.”
New Orleans experienced an affordable housing crisis following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when the price of housing skyrocketed, resulting in the displacement of tens of thousands of low-income residents.
This crisis was only exacerbated by the decisions of the Housing Authority of New Orleans to close thousands of units of public housing after the Hurricane as well.
Under the proposed policy for New Orleans, Affordable Housing Impact Statements would be required for any legislation considered by the City Council of New Orleans that is estimated to have an impact on the housing stock of the City of New Orleans.
Examples include: acceptance of federal grant dollars, land use papers, and other types of legislation.
The Impact Statements will center around the numerical impacts in terms of numbers of units estimated to be added or subtracted at different income levels, containing a framework as follows:
This legislation, if enacted, is estimated to have a projected impact upon the affordable housing stock of the City of New Orleans over the Thirty (30) year period following the enactment of the legislation by:
Adding ___ or decreasing ___ units affordable at 30 or below percent of the City of New Orleans Area Median Income (AMI); and
Adding ___ or decreasing ___ units affordable between 30.01 and 50 percent of AMI; and
Adding ___ or decreasing ___ units affordable at between 50.01 and 80 percent of AMI; and
Adding ___ or decreasing ___ units affordable at over 80 percent of AMI.
The municipal clerk would maintain a repository for the Impact Statements, which will allow stakeholders to gauge the trends of policymaking in the City of New Orleans.
Meanwhile, the Planning Commission in Pittsburgh recently heard about Pittsburgh’s AHIS proposal, and they have asked for Pittsburgh’s impact statements to be more structured around estimated numbers of units added or subtracted at different price points, like the way Atlanta’s AHIS policy is structured.