t can go without saying that Louisianans are amazingly resilient. From Hurricane Katrina, the 2016 Floods, to Hurricane Laura, we continuously bounce back with a new spirit and song. The resilience of our state is remarkable. In each one of the disasters listed, families lost homes and communities were wiped out. Displacement due to natural disasters can be detrimental physically and financially. According to the DOA of Louisiana there have been a devasting reduction in our housing stock over the years.
Sadly, we all know that recovering our housing stock is an uphill battle after a disaster. Many housing companies price gouge housing property far above market value leaving families feeling abandoned and homeless. Unfortunately, if the house isn’t overpriced it is most likely not up-to-code or lack safe living conditions. Thus, forcing families to make desperate housing choices due to an absence of affordable housing, which is the leading cause of homelessness (americanprogress). Interestingly, during this time people are still reluctant to seek affordable housing due to the negative stigma. Seeing that over the years it became synonymous with temporary, shameful, unattractive, poorly maintained housing in high crime areas.
When in actuality affordable housing means that 30% of your finances go directly to house expenses versus 60% and above. Allowing more financial freedom to allocate towards other expenses, food, vacation, and family.
Before the Fair Housing Act, there was a large racial disparity in homeownership that forced marginalized families, predominately, African Americans, to live in disinvested, unattractive, crime stricken communities. Redlining, zip code disparity, and lack of policy reform has and still is preventing families from improving their quality of life. In conjunction to altering the mind of generations to believe affordable housing is only for poor families. This is a system that needs to be acknowledged and broken.
We are committed to developing and promoting the growth and revitalization of Mid City Baton Rouge by attracting new and retaining current residents and businesses. We understand to break systemic change it has to be attacked by all angles. Building affordable homes will not thrive in disinvested communities without instilling community pride, profitable businesses, and support. We serve as a direct resource to the community to provide information, tools, and support that directly affect the change they want verses what we or anyone else believe they need. In our Theory of Change we plain, build, educate, empower, and sustain our community to fight and breakdown all barriers that prevent them from succeeding. Homeownership allows individuals to build wealth, access education and employment to achieve gains, increase economic mobility and improve their mental and physical health. We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to own their own home.
If you are interested in one-on-one counseling, financial coaching, homebuyer training check out our homeownership center at www.homeownershipcenter.org.