A New Type of Housing Plan for New Orleans

Lousiana’s

Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance (GNOHA) is coordinating a large-scale effort to develop a ten-year strategy for housing New Orleans' current and future residents

Post-Katrina, many say that New Orleans is one of the most “planned” cities in America. Although the public sector, nonprofits, universities, business and philanthropy have conducted myriad studies and planning processes through the post-disaster years, experts and residents alike recognize that the community still needs a single, comprehensive housing “blueprint” that pulls together in one place the full range of affordable housing needs, strategy recommendations and potential funding sources.

Now, with the help of a $35,000, one-year grant through Foundation for Louisiana’s TOGETHER initiative, a partnership led by the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance (GNOHA) will conduct a collaborative process to develop just such a blueprint. The idea is to create a ten-year strategy that is balanced, reasonable, and leverages ever-shrinking public resources. In the words of GNOHA Board Chair Andreanecia Morris, the goal is a plan that is more focused on “what can be done” rather than “what must be done.”

The hallmark of the process will be inclusiveness, bringing to the table partners from government, business, community and neighborhood organizations, resident and advocate groups, philanthropy, and the housing and community development world. Residents will have multiple opportunities to include their voices in the plan, a process that started in November 2014 at the annual Neighborhood Summit, where attendees were invited to submit questions and concerns. Their questions are being addressed in a special edition of Neighborhoods Partnership Network’s newspaper, The Trumpet. Residents can also join the working group’s community engagement committee or visit the HousingNOLA website at http://www.housingnola.org to learn about other opportunities to get involved.

Morris and GNOHA program manager Lindsey Lewis aren’t naïve when it comes to the challenges of conducting a fully collaborative process. As they note, it will take time. But they also know that participation by so many partners will be key to a successful, achievable plan. They are also excited about what the planning process itself will say about New Orleans. As Lewis noted, such a diverse set of participants working so well together “shows a bright future for New Orleans.”

To find out more about getting involved in the housing planning process, contact Lindsey Lewis at lindsey.lewis@gnoha.org or 504-821-7235. Check FFL’s News and Resources for the latest updates about this project.

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