"Uninhabitable" storytelling showcase sheds light on New Orleans housing issues

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Everyone has a landlord story. Or a mold story. Or a termite story. Or worse. Or all of the above. On Oct. 20, the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center partners with the live storytelling series Bring Your Own to open the floor to "stories of being pushed out and pushing back," from evictions and absentee landlords to the rising costs of housing and rents in New Orleans.

The city routinely ranks among the worst U.S. cities for renters, though more than half of the city rents. Nearly 40 percent of renters pay half their entire income on rent and utilities, according to GNOFHAC. Housing costs continue to rise, outpacing wage growth and quality housing; about 80 percent of the city's 62,000 rental units need major repairs and thousands other rental properties endure mold, rodents and leaks. Housing advocates say renters can't get the city's code enforcement to respond to quality of life issues via 311.

The event aims to "shine a light on the leaks, rats,and mold that are all too common in the lives of New Orleans renters" through eight storytellers' grim, funny and thought-provoking true stories.

The event begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Radical Arts & Healing Collective (1340 Montegut St.) with food by Goodman's BBQ, a cash bar and music from Lost in the Holler. Storytelling begins at 8 p.m. Admission is free.


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