Andrenecia Morris Executive Director, HousingNOLA
Two years ago, HousingNOLA launched our Community Development Finance Plan in order to quantify the cost of creating the Affordable Housing opportunities needed to end New Orleans’ housing crisis. We also relaunched “Own the Crescent” as a program to help landlords fix up and rent their properties and helps first-time homebuyers find housing.
The program, which was set to expire this December, was extended through September 2021. JP Morgan Chase has extended the grant through September 2021 and now all New Orleans neighborhoods can benefit in the hopes of countering the impact COVID-19.
Own the Crescent provides the tools needed to navigate the housing market to find programs that suit participants’ needs. Participants are given hands-on help including homebuyer training, credit counseling and special financing options. Own the Crescent collaborative partners include NewCorp Inc., Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance, Ujamaa Economic Development Corporation, Lift Fund, Hope Credit Union, Hope Enterprises, CD Capital and Tru FUND.
In less than one year, Own the Crescent’s success was proven in the Claiborne Corridor:
• 28 First-time homebuyer opportunities were created
• 624 Individuals received certification through training programs
• 25 Small businesses were assisted
Now with the expansion of the program, even more landlords and first-time homebuyers will benefit. New Orleans currently has 19,000 rental units that are sitting empty, not being rented. There simply aren’t enough lending solutions for people who may have inherited property that needs repair—particularly for working class African Americans.
Through Own the Crescent we’re offering the financial help needed to fix up their properties and get them rented. And people struggling with the challenges of buying their first home get the resources they need to succeed. It’s a win-win situation and another way to ensure that we #PutHousingFirst. To sign up or learn more, go to www.OwnTheCrescent.org or call 855-228-9328.