City of New Orleans expands initiatives to facilitate affordable housing and commercial development through CEA with NORA

NEW ORLEANS — Today, Mayor LaToya Cantrell signed an Ordinance to move forward with a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), outlining the terms and responsibilities for the redevelopment of City-owned properties. The Council also approved the execution of two lease agreements for the development of City-owned properties located at 2314 Louisiana Ave. and 2600 S. Broad St., slated to begin in 2022.    

“We have a tremendous opportunity to align the use of City-owned property and the substantial need for neighborhood amenities and other necessary infrastructure, to create prosperous and healthy communities,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “This CEA ensures that City-owned properties maintained by taxpayer dollars are utilized strategically in creating affordable housing and further equitable community and economic development goals to enhance the quality of life in New Orleans. As we continue our pandemic and post-Ida response and recovery efforts, it’s important now more than ever to prioritize housing and development strategies.”

The CEA instituted a Redevelopment Framework to initiate the development of City-owned properties to address affordable housing and commercial development needs citywide. The Framework guides and supports decisions on the City’s investments in community and economic development real estate properties and activities and provides an opportunity for the creation of a taskforce of internal stakeholders to determine use, acquisition, disposition, lease and/or surplus of City buildings.

 “We need to leverage all available assets to increase housing and development opportunities for our residents,” said Nicole Heyman, Director of Office of Community Assets and Investment. “This framework will help us utilize City-owned properties where there are opportunities to transform City-owned property into neighborhood assets.”

“The creation of this framework gives the City of New Orleans another key tool in its economic development toolkit,” said Jeffrey Schwartz, Director of Office of Economic Development. “This enables the City to proactively utilize publicly controlled assets to create quality jobs, promote investment in our neighborhoods and small businesses, and create catalytic projects that will help to diversify our economy in our priority industries.”

The Redevelopment Framework is a national best practice for strategic utilization of government assets. It also represents a paradigm shift in how City facilities are developed for public benefit and represent critical investment in the City’s partnership with NORA.

“We are excited to partner with the City,” said Brenda Breaux, Executive Director of NORA. “This new opportunity through the Redevelopment Framework can provide housing opportunities and more on some of the City’s underutilized assets.”

Through an Executive Order, Mayor Cantrell created a Strategic Property Oversight Working Group to include the Department of Property Management, Department of Public Works, City Planning Commission, Office of Community Assets and Investment, Office of Economic Development, Office of Community Development, the Chief Administrative Office, Office of the Mayor and the City Attorney. This team will analyze City-owned property listings and provide a technical review to determine effective uses and development opportunities to recommend to Mayor Cantrell for future community projects.

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