New Orleans Life

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

New Orleans 'unlikely' to meet housing affordability goals, while housing remains 'out of reach' for minimum wage workers

Posted By on Wed, Jun 13, 2018 at 10:40 AM


New Orleans renters would need to earn an hourly wage of at least $19.15 to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment, according to a recent housing report.

New Orleans’ spotlight in Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing from the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center also reports that minimum wage earners — relying on the state’s federal-set hourly rate of $7.25 — aren’t able to afford even a one-bedroom apartment, unless they’re working 88 hours per week, up from 84 hours per week in 2017.

The city even falls short of poorly ranked statewide averages, which would require an hourly wage of $16.63 for a modest two-bedroom rental.

The report's measure of "modest" housing is one in which a renter's income is not "rent-burdened" by spending 30 percent or more of that income on housing costs. More than half of New Orleans residents are renters — half of all renters put at least 30 percent of their income towards housing, and 80 percent of people earning less than $15,000 a year spend more than half their income on rent.

That analysis follows a progress report from HousingNOLA, which in 2015 revealed plans for a 10-year affordable housing strategy. HousingNOLA admits it’s “unlikely” the city will be able to meet a goal of 2,500 units by September — a goal of 750 units is more realistic, but “if, any only if” the city can find money to pay for a plan to house formerly incarcerated people in August. Only 190 new affordable units were brought online in the last eight months.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

'Hampton Inn Marigny' gets New Orleans City Planning Commission approval

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 6:30 PM

Design plans for a Hampton Inn on Elysian Fields Avenue in Faubourg Marigny.
  • Design plans for a Hampton Inn on Elysian Fields Avenue in Faubourg Marigny.

After more than two years of planning and meetings with neighborhood residents, "Hampton Inn Marigny" is a step closer to opening at Elysian Fields Avenue and Decatur Street, among the first major hotel chains set to break ground in the neighborhood.

Final plans for the four-story hotel at 501 Elysian Fields Ave. have reeled for months as developers, architects and residents have tried to come to a compromise over design plans, not the construction of a hotel itself, which neighborhood groups hope will skim off the area’s proliferation of short-term rentals and remedy a property that’s remained untouched for several years.

But Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association president Allen Johnson says the “suburban” designs aren’t consistent with the area.

“We were told we would have ‘a building the neighborhood would be proud of,’” Johnson told the New Orleans City Planning Commission (CPC) June 12. “We did not get that.”

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Don’t worry, New Orleans. Domino’s Pizza might fill those potholes

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 12:25 PM


Instead of a dystopia with free energy, good drugs and artificial intelligence-aided everything to the disproportionate benefit of the wealthy, we get bros with flamethrowers, GoFundMe health care and, now, competitive pizza-funded infrastructure projects.

Domino’s has unveiled its chef’s kiss-perfect late capitalism enterprise in which lowly residents compete for the benevolent pizza company to repair streets — for safer pizza deliveries.

Paving For Pizza” is a marketing campaign and partial goof to file under overused “pizza humor” but it obviously points to a larger issue in which cities like New Orleans constantly battle crippled streets that likely aren’t getting better over time or with constant repair and repaving.

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Y@ Speak: #CityofYes

Posted By on Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 5:30 PM

And a legislature of "noooooooo."

Plus: Happy Pride from the guy who tweeted "sex gifs" and rats ahoy.

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Monday, June 4, 2018

Y@ Speak: extremely New Orleans

Posted By on Mon, Jun 4, 2018 at 4:40 PM

New Orleans: Authenticity War is heating up, plus everyone hates the heat and the Louisiana Legislature goes to special session heaven.

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Friday, June 1, 2018

Report: inequities in New Orleans health care and impacts among black residents

Posted By on Fri, Jun 1, 2018 at 10:10 AM


New Orleans’ access to health care has improved over the last decade, but there remain significant gaps in coverage and racial disparities in the city’s health care system that have led to disproportionately higher rates of illness, disease and death among black residents.

A report released by The Data Center this week, in conjunction with its tricentennial series, reveals a stunning history of health care in New Orleans, from the foundation of a Charity Hospital in the 18th century to health epidemics and their cost to enslaved people, and how institutionalized racism in public health agencies through the late 1800s through the 20th century, and the failure to integrate hospitals well into the ‘60s and ‘70s, drove poor health outcomes.

“The historical and perpetuated oppression of black Americans, from the time of the city’s founding to present day policies and practices, has resulted in inextricable ties between race, socioeconomic conditions and population health,” the report says. “Bolstered by centuries of stereotypes and false myths about human differences and group behaviors, racial stratification in societal treatment, and access to power, resources and opportunities remains.”

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Restaurateur Ella Brennan dies at 92

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2018 at 12:29 PM

Ella Brennan at her New Orleans home. - PHOTO BY JERRY SIEGEL
  • Ella Brennan at her New Orleans home.

Ella Brennan, an influential member of the New Orleans family and restaurants including Commander's Palace, has died. She was 92.

The Brennan family issued the following statement:

"After 92 years as one of the most inspiring women the culinary scene has ever seen, Miss Ella Brennan passed away on May 31, 2018 with her family, friends, by her side. The impact that Miss Ella had on New Orleans is immeasurable. She broke every boundary that she came up against, opening restaurants during a time when female ownership was unprecedented, and fostered an incredible sense of community in each kitchen and dining room that she touched. Quick witted, honest, determined, and brilliant, Miss Ella's words of wisdom will forever linger on those lucky enough to have come into contact with her throughout her very full life. The Commander's Palace, SoBou, and Café Adelaide families will always remember Ella as the matriarch of the Commander's Family of Restaurants. Most importantly, Ella was a family-first lady, and Miss Ella's family appreciates all of the good thoughts and well wishes, and requests privacy during this time. Services will be privately held.

Tonight, the iconic Commander’s Palace sign will not be lit."

Ian McNulty of The New Orleans Advocate has more on Brennan here.

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Monday, May 21, 2018

A Y@ Speak That Floods

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2018 at 5:30 PM

You know the drill. A look at a wet week, below:

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New Orleans City Council to consider new restrictions on short-term rentals, will direct City Planning Commission to further study impacts

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2018 at 3:50 PM


The New Orleans City Council will consider a new interim zoning district that prohibits new commercial and temporary short-term rentals in many neighborhoods for listings on platforms like Airbnb.

The City Council also will consider rescinding a motion directing the City Planning Commission (CPC) to study the impacts of the year-old STR laws established by the previous administration, but it will request a new, broader study building on what the CPC already has reviewed. The new study will also direct the CPC to look at New Orleans' laws and STR presence compared to similarly sized cities like Austin, Charleston, Nashville and Savannah, and whether those cities' laws could work in New Orleans. It also will review STRs' contributions to the city's affordable housing funds.

A new "Short Term Rental Interim Zoning District" will end new licenses as well as renewals for temporary STRs and ends renewals for commercial STRs in historic core and historic urban zoning districts, "neighborhoods feeling the greatest impact," says District C Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer. That interim zoning district remains in effect for one year.

Palmer, who filed both motions, stresses that the legislation passed by the City Council last year was, in their words, "a first step."

"Now it's been over a year," Palmer told Gambit. "The reason why you have the study is so the individual that feels the way the neighborhood looks now has actual information to determine whether that feeling is correct. Housing, places, neighborhoods you have an emotive connection to. We want to make sure it's based in fact when we start legislating."

The City Council will vote on those motions Thursday, May 24.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

T7 Fest set for Memorial Day weekend

Posted By on Tue, May 15, 2018 at 1:35 PM

Kermit Ruffins is among headliners for the Memorial Day weekend festival.
  • Kermit Ruffins is among headliners for the Memorial Day weekend festival.

The third annual Treme/7th Ward Arts & Culture Festival (T7 Fest) May 25-27 will feature the music, arts, culture, products and history that has made the two neighborhoods integral to New Orleans' history.

The festival starts on Friday, May 25 with tours through the historic neighborhoods of Treme and the 7th Ward narrated by Mikhala "Jazz Muffin" Iversen, a Danish-American singer who performs her own hybrid of reggae and jazz. The tour leaves at 10 a.m. (boarding time is 9:30 a.m.) from the Armstrong Park arch at 701 N. Rampart St. and costs $40 per person.

The festival continues with the T7 Fest Baby Doll Bar Crawl, which visits Bullets Sports Bar, Seal's Class Act, Kermit's Mother-In-Law Lounge, Lil People's Place and the Candlelight Lounge, each selected for its role as a favorite drinking spot of locals and visitors as well as incubators for musicians, singers and Mardi Gras Indians. Tickets are $40 (patrons must buy their own drinks) and transportation leaves from the Armstrong Park arch at 6 p.m.

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