Jindal Wants to Streamline Louisiana's Housing Agencies and Programs
Citing high bureaucratic costs and the need for better coordination, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announced that he will be supporting reform of the state’s disparate housing agencies, including the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency (LHFA), into one streamlined Louisiana Housing Corporation. The revamped Louisiana Housing Corporation, which unites almost 30 separate programs currently managed by five organizations, would be responsible for overseeing all housing funds in the state.
Jindal said he is backing the streamlining legislation, proposed by Senator Neil Risor and House Speaker Jim Tucker, which will be voted on in the upcoming legislative session. “By supporting this legislation to create the Louisiana Housing Corporation, we will help developers better access capital and offer affordable housing options to Louisiana residents in need of safe homes for their families,” he added. “We are long overdue in establishing a consolidated and focused strategy to coordinate our state housing programs, which will potentially save millions of taxpayer dollars while helping public and private housing agencies provide more effective services to our people.”
According to a statement released by Jindal, Louisiana has almost 30 housing-related programs managed across five different organizations, all with a shared purpose of providing safe and affordable housing. These agencies currently employ more than 300 people—more than 100 earning more than $60,000 a year—and this staff serves overlapping functions.
Specifically, the new corporation will be comprised of the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency and Louisiana Land Trust, as well as the following programs in the Office of Community Development: Small Rental Property Repair Program, Gustav and Ike Affordable Housing, LIHTC Piggyback Program, and the Permanent Supportive Housing voucher program. Additional programs will be assessed for inclusion into the corporation, including the Emergency Shelter Grants Programs and the Rapid Re-housing Program.
Jindal believes that this new, unified approach will allow the state to better attract and leverage private capital in the credit markets, and ensure that safe and affordable rental options are available for those who need it. The unified structure will also streamline operations and ensure a higher level of accountability.