BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Affordable housing is getting harder to find, and that has the East Baton Rouge Parish Housing Authority concerned. Experts say not enough houses are being built. Meanwhile, with higher interest rates, fewer people are buying and selling homes.
“You’ll probably pay two to three hundred more in your monthly mortgage for the same house. Just because of the rise in interest rates. So yeah, it’s pushing the affordable rate out the window,” said Leo Desselle, Pennant Real Estate owner.
It’s putting a strain on residents looking for affordable housing. East Baton Rouge Parish Housing Authority CEO J. Wesley Daniels, Jr. said people are staying in assisted housing for longer than usual so those apartments can’t be turned over to help new applicants as quickly.
“It has taken a segment and a group of families and made housing unaffordable because of the increase in mortgage rates because of that. Now they have to continue to live in multifamily housing or rental housing,” said Daniels.
Some renters have been waiting months, some years, for help from the East Baton Rouge Parish Housing Authority.
“And by like a year to two years before we get to where we need to be, you know, is everything you need, is a good thing to have when you got over two or three children,” explained Robert Bradley, a Baton Rouge resident.
More than four thousand people are currently on a waitlist for housing assistance in Baton Rouge and another three thousand are waiting for housing choice vouchers.
“Give us enough capital where we could provide more affordable housing here, whether we’re building it or whether we are providing rental assistance to those families,” said Daniels.
Daniels said they are building new homes. One of which is the Cypress Pinchback apartments, which are almost completed for elderly residents.
“Creating a significant amount of new construction homes throughout the parish. Recently, we are about to complete our Cypress Pinchback, probably another 500 that are planned over the next two years. Those are the two pathways to help with the affordable housing crisis,” said Daniels.
Daniels said while he understands the public’s outcry for more affordable housing, the housing authority is asking for your patience as they sort things out.