Mayor Cantrell Asking for Contributions to Rental Assistance Fund
NEW ORLEANS — Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced an effort to assemble a private philanthropic network to stem a potential landslide of evictions. The fund is now accepting tax-deductible donations.
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Assistance to tenants is limited to households facing imminent eviction. Among families facing imminent eviction, families with children, the elderly and people with disabilities are prioritized.
“New Orleanians have a track record of helping our neighbors when disaster strikes and things get tough. We know from firsthand experience that we can’t wait on the cavalry; our community has to be the cavalry,” said Cantrell. “The COVID-19 pandemic has hit cities and our people disproportionately and the needs have outpaced the resources, but we’re going to get through as we always have, together.”
The Mayor’s Fund is administered by Forward Together New Orleans, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was launched in 2018 by Cantrell. FTNO is an effort to bridge the public and private sectors to address New Orleans’ most pressing challenges. Today, that challenge is the COVID-19 pandemic, a public health and economic catastrophe.
In early April, the City opened a rental assistance program that received over 8,300 applications, exhausting the available resources. The funding for the first round of rental assistance was a combination of philanthropic contributions and local government funds via the Neighborhood Housing Improvement Fund. On July 27, the city opened a second round of emergency rental relief for Orleans Parish renters in imminent danger of eviction. Funding for both of these programs was insufficient to satisfy the need.
Without swift congressional action, thousands of New Orleanians may soon be evicted and become homeless as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local governments simply do not have the resources to fill the need. The Cantrell administration will continue working to identify opportunities for assistance for residents to promote housing stability through this crisis.
Contributions to the Mayor’s Fund can be made at https://givebutter.com/RentalAssistance