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LHC Partners with Municipalities to Launch “Housing Heroes” Initiative

Published on December 19, 2020 by Louisiana Housing Corporation
LHC Partners with Municipalities to Launch  “Housing Heroes” Initiative

Initiative aims to increase Louisiana’s affordable rental housing capacity

BATON ROUGE, LA – In light of the dire need for quality, safe, affordable, and accessible housing following the ongoing 2019 Coronavirus pandemic and Hurricanes Delta, Laura and Zeta the Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is partnering with state municipalities in activating Louisiana’s Housing Heroes Initiative.

Housing Heroes is a statewide initiative that works to identify apartment and rental housing opportunities 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.

“The ramifications of COVID-19 and Hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta 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.”

Housing Heroes aims to provide affordable housing opportunities for approximately 2,100 households – 523 for individuals and families transitioning from non-congregant shelters and 1,636 for renters and homeowners impacted by natural disasters. The most urgent need for housing access is Central, Southwest and Southeast Louisiana, the state’s hardest-hit regions.

In May, the LHC and Louisiana’s Continuums of Care launched a non-congregant shelter initiative to temporarily house more than 1,200 homeless individuals in hotels across the state. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lack of housing contributes to poor physical and mental health outcomes, and linkages to permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness should continue to be a priority [sic] during the pandemic.

Also contributing to the need for more affordable housing are the severe impacts on Louisiana’s housing stock caused by an above-active hurricane season. In November, the state reported 18,213 evacuees from Hurricane Laura across Louisiana and Texas. To date, 26 of the state’s 64 parishes have received federal disaster declarations.

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 affordable rental units. These units may include apartments, single-family homes, and mobile homes. Landlords and property owners can visit www.LAHousingSearch.org or dial 1-877-428-8844 (toll-free) to post or update any available vacancies.

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 hurricanes. For more information about the MLRP, interested parties may contact Marvin R. Jennings at marvin.r.jennings@fema.dhs.gov or John Clemons at john.clemons@fema.dhs.gov.

ABOUT LHC

The Louisiana Housing Corporation’s mission is to ensure that every Louisiana resident is granted an opportunity to obtain safe, affordable, energy-efficient housing. Each day this ongoing challenge is met by a dedicated staff of professionals who allocate federal and state funds to help low-to-moderate income citizens make their housing dreams a reality. LHC administers federal and state funds through programs designed to advance the development of energy efficient and affordable housing for working families, drive housing policy for Louisiana and oversee the state’s Disaster Housing Task Force.

MEDIA CONTACT
Eddie Bynog, Jr., Public Affairs Specialist
(225) 432-5589 | ebno@lhc.la.gov