NEW ORLEANS – On Monday, HousingNOLA, together with The City of New Orleans, NewCorp and Hancock Whitney announced the start of Families 4 Families (F4F), a COVID-19 rental assistance fund aimed at helping 4,000 families live through the COVID-19 pandemic, without the fear of eviction by providing rental assistance for a year.
Housing insecurity is a serious problem in Louisiana. In our state 48% of renters and 29% of all residents are cost-burdened, meaning they pay more than 30% of their income towards housing.
The F4F program provides critical rental assistance for one year in the form of a $200 to $1500 suggested monthly commitment provided by a donor, to ensure a needy family is housing secure, however any donation denomination is accepted and appreciated. The rental assistance may also cover utility payments, depending on an individual family’s circumstances.
“The Government isn’t coming to our rescue, so we have to help ourselves.”
-Andreanecia Morris, HousingNOLA
Andreanecia continued, “We’re asking New Orleans families to help other New Orleans families by making a monthly donation for one year. The need for rental assistance is huge, and we are asking New Orleans families to step up and be a part of the solution. We want families to know their donation will directly help families much like their own, remain home secure and safe without fear of eviction.”
The Families 4 Families (F4F) program was created as a community-wide effort to ensure those who can least afford to pay their rents and utilities can do so and remain housing secure. In a recent 2020 study, Out of Reach, the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) found in Louisiana, a person needs to earn a housing wage of $17.48 to afford a two-bedroom apartment at market rate. In New Orleans, the housing wage is closer to $20/hour.
HousingNOLA is working with NewCorp, a non-profit community development financial institution, to recruit individual and corporate donors and pair them with “adopted” families in need. The program’s initial goal is to help 4,000 families, which is only about 12 percent of how many families actually need rental assistance in New Orleans.
“This COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on our lives and for many of us the most stressful part is our worry and concern for family; be it small children, young adults or elderly parents,” said Vaughn R. Fauria, CEO of NewCorp. “As we continue to battle rising rates of COVID-19 and enter the peak of hurricane season, the unknown becomes increasingly scarier for us all but considerably more so for our families, by way of our New Orleans community, facing eviction. We can “flatten this curve” with your contribution to the Families 4 Families fund. Let’s rally and contribute to the F4F fund to keep New Orleans families home secure!”
The City of New Orleans is in full support of the program. “I am grateful that the people of New Orleans are stepping up to help one another, while we work with our federal partners to secure the support we need for our residents to get through this,” said New Orleans Mayor, LaToya Cantrell. “New Orleanians are strong, and we come together to help one another in times of need. Our community has proved that in the past, and we will continue to do that.”
Hancock Whitney has also partnered with HousingNOLA to help recruit donors. “Having a safe, secure place of refuge at any time, especially during the pandemic, is critical to the welfare of the people who call our community home,” said Hancock Whitney President Joseph S. Exnicios. “Our Hancock Whitney family is honored to be part of the Families 4 Families solution that helps ensure families throughout the New Orleans area do not face an additional crisis of not having homes because of the impacts COVID-19 has had on so many lives and livelihoods.”
Families 4 Families has already started receiving donations:
- $100,000 from the Greater New Orleans Foundation, presented by President and CEO Andy Kopplin.
- $25,000 from Hancock Whitney, presented by President Joe Exnicios.
- $2,500 from NewCorp, presented by CEO Vaughn Fauria.
To learn more about Families 4 Families, become a donor family, or make a one-time donation, visit https://donorbox.org/housingnolaf4f or call 504-326-1728 or 504-208-1700 . You can change or cancel your donation at any time. F4F donations are tax deductible charitable contributions.
Checks can be made out to HousingNOLA (write F4F in the memo) and mailed to:
Attn: Families 4 Families
2533 Columbus Street
New Orleans, LA 70119