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Is rent on the rise in New Orleans?

Apartment Guide’s 2021 Rent Report shows an 18-percent increase in costs of a 1 bedroom apartment
Updated: Apr. 30, 2021 at 9:42 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Apartment Guide’s 2021 Rent Report shows the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in New Orleans has gone up 18 percent over the last year.

This report puts the average one-bedroom apartment around $1700 a month, two bedrooms around $2400. That’s a 15 to 18 percent difference from last year that could possibly be slightly inflated due to high-end new construction.

“They’re not looking at the thousands of vacant units that are not being rented and they’re not looking at what the average New Orleanian needs,” Andreanecia Morris, Executive Director of Housing NOLA said.

There’s no denying rent has gone up.

Morris says these prices aren’t conducive to the average New Orleanian’s income especially more than a year into the pandemic.

“That’s why those numbers have to be properly contextualized because it’s not about who needs to be here because this is close to their work, this is close to their kid’s school, this is close to their support system, or this is their home,” Morris said. “These numbers are about the people who have not managed to get pushed out.”

Morris points out how the city couldn’t access enough funding in the CARES Act or December stimulus package because of low population numbers.

“We have failed to put housing first, even during COVID, when we say it’s shelter at home,” Morris said. “We are continuing to push people out of the city, we’re continuing to displace the average worker, the culture bearer and we’re going to pay the price and we continue to pay the price.”

Morris warns this could only get worse once the eviction moratorium runs out.

But what is causing the rent to rise?

“The cost of lumber and supplies is up, sometimes two and a half times what it was just a year ago, our taxes, particularly in Orleans Parish have often gone up 40 to 50-percent, and of course those are directly passed on to the landlords who are absorbing that, the water and utility bills are up at least 10-percent, the cost of labor has gone up, insurance is actually up 10-percent,” Realtor and real estate development company owner, Rachel Van Voorhees said.

Not only are landlords’ costs going up, but inventory could also be affected.

“There’s not as much apartments changing in and out, people finding an apartment every year, upgrading, changing, so, I think that is limiting some of the volume,” William “Buddy” King a Senior Agent and Partner with Satsuma Realtors said. “We’re seeing lots of nice apartments are becoming available as well, so, people may be increasing rental prices, where they hadn’t been renting them before.”

There is rental assistance available now through the city and other organizations. Some of the realtors we talked to recommended reaching out to your city councilperson’s office for more information, or you can go to ready.nola.gov for more.

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