Likely New Orleans Voters Rank Affordable Housing as a Top Priority for Mayor and City Council to Address, Poll Finds

Survey participants believe affordable housing is important to local economy and support inclusionary zoning measures and mandatory rental housing registry

NEW ORLEANS – Sept. 19, 2017 – Likely New Orleans voters strongly support the Mayor and City Council prioritizing affordable housing needs, according to a new survey from Enterprise Community Partners Inc (Enterprise). Survey participants ranked affordable housing as the second most important issue for the City to focus on and overwhelmingly agreed that access to affordable housing is important to the strength of the local economy. A significant majority also supported increased funding for affordable housing, inclusionary zoning measures and a mandatory rental housing registry.

Specifically, results included:

  • Likely voters ranked affordable housing as the second most important issue they would like to see New Orleans’ Mayor and City Council address, behind Public Safety/Crime and ahead of other issues such as Flood Control, Jobs and Economy and Infrastructure. Overall, 59 percent of respondents noted Public Safety/Crime as one of the top three issues while 46 percent noted Affordable Housing in the top three.
  • 43 percent of likely voters said their monthly housing payment makes it hard for their family to make ends meet.
  • 93 percent of likely voters agree or strongly agree that access to affordable housing is important for the local economy.
  • 78 percent of likely voters favor or strongly favor having the city require that new market-rate housing in New Orleans set aside some units as affordable for low to moderate wage earners.
  • 80 percent of likely voters favor or strongly favor the city actively address substandard conditions of rental properties by requiring landlords to register their rental housing with the city and pass a basic health and safety inspection.
  • 74 percent of likely voters favor or strongly favor having the city increase funding for the production and preservation of affordable housing.

“The results of this poll affirm that affordable housing is a top issue for voters in New Orleans,” said Michelle Whetten, vice president and Gulf Coast market leader, Enterprise Community Partners. “As candidates for elected office consider the priorities of voters, they must recognize the growing demand from residents for measures to create and preserve affordable housing, and make housing a central part of their platform.” 

The survey, sponsored by Enterprise, was conducted with funding from HousingNOLA, the Power Coalition and the Greater New Orleans Foundation, supported in part by the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation.

The poll surveyed 500 likely voters in Orleans Parish to gauge perceptions and attitudes concerning housing issues in New Orleans. Likely voters are defined as those registered voters who have voted at least 3 times in the last 5 statewide elections. The poll was conducted by telephone August 22-27 of 2017 by Reconnaissance Market Research and includes users of both conventional and cellular phones. Edgewater Research and Dr. Ed Chervenak of the University of New Orleans were responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis.

Nearly 19 million families nationwide are housing insecure, either homeless or paying more than half of their monthly income on housing. Enterprise’s generational goal is to end housing insecurity in the U.S. through well-designed, affordable homes connected to resources like health care, schools, jobs and transportation.