Because of the lack of affordable housing in the city, homeownership can be difficult to achieve for low and middle-income New Orleans residents.
Satsuma Real Estate is hoping to contribute to the solution by hosting its second crawfish boil cook-off this Saturday (May 13) to raise funds for People Housing Plus, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing and financial literacy education to New Orleans residents.
“We are in what we consider to be an affordable housing crisis,” said Oji Alexander, ceo of People’s Housing Plus. “The average sales price of a new home in New Orleans is close to $300,000, which is more than twice what a family earning 80 percent of area median income can afford.”
The crawfish boil cook-off, titled “Building by Boiling” will be held at NOLA Brewing from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. The event will feature bands and a raffle for gift cards. Celebrity guest judges for the boil include Garrett Hartly, a New Orleans Saints legend and Malik Mingo, WWLTV presenter and host of Great Day Louisiana.
The goal is to raise $30,000 to support People’s Housing Plus.
In addition to building affordable housing, People’s Housing Plus offers wraparound support services to help homebuyers including mandatory home buyer training classes, hurricane preparedness and retirement planning. The nonprofit is taking a holistic approach to housing, benefiting people’s long term success, said Alexander.
After Hurricane Katrina, and even after Hurricane Ida, the property values, not only in New Orleans, but also in major metropolitan areas across the globe have skyrocketed since the market crashed in 2008, said Josh Fogarty, partner with Satsuma Real Estate. Inflation rates and rising insurance costs make it tough for low-income residents to save money for a down payment or for closing costs.
Affordability isn’t the only issue. Some houses have storm damage and others are old structures that require a lot of work to maintain.
“So oftentimes you have homeowners who have old homes, which means that a lot of lower income homeowners who may have inherited property can’t afford to upkeep their properties,” said Fogarty.
A recent report by Verite reporter, Michelle Liu found that the New Orleans City Planning Commission is taking “baby steps” to help developers like People’s Housing Plus to adopt a program to offer incentives to build new affordable homes for lower-income buyers.
The crawfish boil cook-off benefit would allow People’s Housing Plus to continue to support clients like Nadia Mingo, who struggled to find affordable housing with her voucher from the Housing Authority, which assists low-income residents with down payments. Mingo said she spent six months working with a realtor to bid on houses and would get denied.
“I did experience some discouragement,” said Mingo. “They didn’t look at credit, they didn’t look at, you know, how much this person has saved, nothing, it was just denied.”
But People’s Housing Plus worked with Mingo and in February she closed on a new house.
“Growing up, family, no one owned a home, so it’s like you try to break those generational curses,” said Mingo. “I wanted better for my kids, that’s what really made me want to become a homeowner.”
Purchase tickets for Building by Boiling.
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