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Governor To Landlords: Please Make Rental Units Affordable For Flood Survivors

Wallis Watkins
Governor John Bel Edwards announced the beginning of the Louisiana Housing Heroes Initiative on Tuesday. The program aims to make more affordable housing units available for those still displaced by the March and August floods of 2016.

Even before the March and August floods hit Louisiana, the state faced a shortage of affordable rental housing. That shortage grew as homes flooded and became uninhabitable. On Tuesday, Governor John Bel Edwards announced an initiative to help fill that need. Wallis Watkins reports.

Along with Housing and Urban Development and the Louisiana Housing Corporation, the state is looking for good neighbors - landlords and property owners willing to dedicate available units to flood survivors.

"As owners of units, we're asking you to make the rates affordable for a certain period of time," pleaded Governor Edwards on Tuesday.

Edwards says the Louisiana Housing Heroes Initiative is an attempt to increase the number of affordable units available for those still displaced. The area has seen rental prices skyrocket in the months after the flood.

First priority will be the more than three hundred households still living in hotels. The next focus will be on those in FEMA trailers. No incentives are being offered for participation at this point, but the hope is that people will respond out of goodwill.

This report was brought to you by the Louisiana Public Radio Partnership, and made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Wallis Watkins is a Baton Rouge native. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy from Louisiana State University in 2013. Soon after, she joined WRKF as an intern and is now reporting on health and health policy for Louisiana's Prescription.

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