Gentrification Solutions

Creative Ideas to Protect Our Neighborhoods

By Jeff Thomas

News that real estate values in NOLA have skyrocketed should not surprise anybody.  But that the city administration has been done so little is disturbing and shocking.  Read here about why gentrification is especially bad in NOLA.  As displacement disguised as property renovations continues to plague our great city, the necessity of local government policies to curb outrageous housing costs running amok is especially pronounced. We need leadership and vision to stem the tide of this housing crisis.

The cultural uniqueness that makes New Orleans singular is housed in its people.   And if the people of New Orleans are displaced by this housing bubble, when it bursts the city may, in this case, be down the river without a paddle.  The resources necessary to prevent this occurrence rest within the power of the city council and the mayor. Fair share allocations should include investing in our pipes and our people.

Easy, Creative, Affordable and Legal remedies might include:

Designate neighborhoods and their houses for specific purposes.  Each neighborhood will have the cultural significance of the purpose.  Residents who work in culturally significant industries gain easier access to these zones, where housing costs are fixed, and property taxes stabilized.  Create home ownership programs for the residents with soft seconds to offset acquisition costs.

  • Cultural housing zones dedicated to Mardi Gras Indians and second line club members
  • Impacted housing zones dedicated to families of families ravaged by gun violence and mass incarceration
  • Music housing zones dedicated to families who work full or part time in brass bands or jazz bands or music production, marketing or promotion
  •  Education housing zones dedicated to families with teachers with 5 or more years of experience
  • Entertainment industry housing zones dedicated to performers and servers

Each housing zone will be equipped with a locally owned and operated neighborhood store that would supply low cost fresh foods and supplies.  Additionally, residents will contribute to a community center that educates, resources and supports the housing zones’ missions.  Community coordination will effectively reduce crime so dramatically that city funding can be redirected to other neighborhoods. 

Property Tax Measures

Easy changes to our property tax policies can reduce gentrification and preserve our neighborhoods.

  • Immediately and automatically freezing property taxes for seniors
  • Annually reducing the amount of tax owed based upon home value, neighborhood, time owned and age of senior
  • Assign a succession value based upon generational ownership and freeze property taxes
  • Limit increases in property taxes owed for all properties valued under $150,000 owned by 1st time homebuyers for 7 years
  • Create longtime owner occupants’ rules that freeze property taxes to pre-gentrification levels for 15 years

Increased property tax collections are immediately offset by the displacement that usually occurs when neighborhoods gentrify. Spiking property taxes force longtime residents to sell their properties (often for less than the market value). More importantly, displaced people also take the cultural heritage that partly makes the property attractive.

We need new creative legislation from the mayor and the city council to protect our city.

3 thoughts on “Gentrification Solutions

  • July 8, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    AS I read the plans and ideas presented, It still illustrates the scheme to get other peoples money to pay for other people to have a house?

    Affordable Housing is a joke until you have people who understand Real Godly capitalism , which allows more opportunity for all whos mind can comprehend how
    it works. BUT,,, predatory capitalism and government funded fake capitalism, simply harms people, makes more people lazy.
    The END of Monopolies and Oligarchs must happen and Real economics needs to be taught to children and now even adults.

    Republicans and Democrats are guilty of getting rich over keeping humans ignorant about how finances really work !
    Jeff,,??? is your hand in other peoples wallets?
    (o) – (o)

  • July 8, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    I really know about gentrification because all the people I care about including myself live it everyday without anybody really caring. It’s a nice documentation that only mentions poeple who are homeowners. My mother was approved for a home loan and could not find a home that she could afford unless she moved to the ninth ward, algiers, or little woods. The price of rent has gone up. This city does not care. There are not enough homes for low income people and I’m number 5,998 on the section list. My neighbor is 68 and can not stop working. People with jobs can not afford rent in new orleans. This city does not care. It’s sad that I am not along in feeling this way.

  • July 15, 2019 at 9:19 am

    Good Morning Bro Jeff Mr. 504 Thomas, Asante Sana for these excellent article which covers critical issues that is impacting our African American communities negatively..your website is a important information site for African Americans must utilize to organize around!!


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