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The Count: The estimated number of private rental units in New Orleans in need of major repairs

49000

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Source: The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center

Few if any tenants' rights, low affordable housing stock, a code enforcement agency preoccupied with blight and other issues — housing advocates and renters painted a bleak picture May 11 at the New Orleans City Council's Community Development Committee. Based on findings from advocacy groups, nearly 80 percent of the city's 62,000 rental units need major repairs, more than 7,000 have rodent problems, more than 6,000 have leaks, and more than 2,000 have no working bathroom. Housing advocates say renters can't get the city's code enforcement to respond to quality of life issues via 311.

  Breonne DeDecker with Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative said tenants often face a "terrible trade off of habitability, livability and safety," yet, as Keith Twitchell with Committee for a Better New Orleans said, renters continue to pay "higher prices for the same, unsafe homes."

  District B City Councilmember LaToya Cantrell reignited talks of citywide legislation that builds a rental registry to hold slumlords accountable. Her effort last year fell short.

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