Dig Baton Rouge

Grants to help fund the fight against rising BR rent

A Baton Rouge nonprofit coalition hopes that recent gifts and grants will help them be more effective at fighting rising rental prices.

The Housing First Alliance of the Capital Area said they received a $150,000 gift from the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, as well as a $300,000 grant to handle their own operations. The gift will create grants for expert assistance needed to navigate housing bureaucracy, which will go to the more than 30 nonprofits which make up the Housing First Alliance.

According to the Advocate, rent in the capital city is still high after the 2016 floods wiped out 12,000 rental properties in Baton Rouge. The floods also pushed families in nearby parishes who lost their homes to seek out temporary housing, creating a surge in demand for a now-lower supply.

A report from Freddie Mac also found that nationwide rents are increasing, while household income is not. The report also said that in the last six years, the number of affordable apartments has dropped more than 60 percent for families earning less than 50 percent of an area’s median income.

The Advocate reported that Housing First Alliance’s work joins $11.1 million distributed by the city-parish from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help rebuild rentals, and $28.25 million from a state program to rebuild large apartment buildings destroyed by the flooding.

Image: Sean Gasser

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