Mayor – News – October 2020 – City of New Orleans to provide mortgage assistance to small homeowners impacted by COVID-19 pandemic

NEW ORLEANS – The City of New Orleans announced today that it will begin providing $1.5 million in mortgage assistance to smallholders with eight or fewer rental units whose rental income has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At the start of the pandemic, we quickly recognized the impact that the loss of income and income would have on tenants facing eviction, and we worked to provide as much support as possible. Our combined efforts have provided nearly $9 million in rent relief. But there is another side to this crisis, which is why we are ready to support small landlords who are as threatened by this crisis as their tenants. We will provide grants of up to $15,000 per homeowner to discount mortgages. This is just one more tool we are using to address an affordable housing crisis exacerbated by the pandemic,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

“None of us asked for this pandemic and it has had a huge negative financial impact. The economic losses have not only affected renters, but also many small ‘mom and pop’ landlords throughout our community. Rents and evictions were suspended, but mortgages, maintenance, insurance and taxes were not,” said Jay H. Banks, District B City Council Member and Community Development Committee Chair. “This homeowner support program is hopefully just one of many steps we will take to help provide relief to members of our community who, through no fault of their own, are struggling desperately.”

Applicants for the Small Homeowners Emergency Grant Scheme (SLEG) will be required to provide documentation of their hardship and inability to make mortgage payments. The program will start with $1.5 million and can be increased as additional funds become available. The fund should help at least 100 owners and stabilize housing for 500 to 700 households depending on the amounts granted.

Other guidelines include:

  • The applicant must be the primary owner and the applicant’s property must not be a seasonal or short-term rental.
  • The rent must be considered current by the landlord after receipt of the subsidy payment.
  • A rewarded landlord must agree not to evict current tenants until January 31, 2021, or seek reimbursement of overdue rent for the months when mortgage assistance is paid by the SLEG program. If a unit becomes vacant, the unit must be rented within 30 days to an AMI household of 80% or less until January 31, 2021.
  • Homeowners will be required to certify the extent of loss of income and their inability to make mortgage payments. Funding to landlords will be limited to rental units with addresses in the City of New Orleans.

To apply, residents should call the Mayor’s Office of Community Development at 504-658-4200.

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