BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Over four thousand people are on the waiting list for safe and affordable housing in Baton Rouge. Housing First Alliance and Together Baton Rouge partner to inform landlords on what they can do to close the gap.

Affordable housing is getting harder to find in the Capital City but local organizations may have the solution.

“To deepen their interest in acquiring some of the vacant, abandoned properties that could be redeveloped. Then made available as housing units that families can afford,” said Alfredo Cruz, leader of Housing First Alliance.

The Capital Region has over 100 homes that are abandoned and are currently creating blight. Groups said if landlords of previous property owners purchase these homes it will help them with the housing crisis that Baton Rouge is now facing.

“You know, housing affects all of us. We want our community to be a safe place that people want to live. And so a lot of times we think about where we live. We need to think about where everybody lives. We want safe, healthy housing,” said Jennifer Carwile, a leader for Together Baton Rouge.

These homes have been abandoned and it brings real concerns to local landlords.

“There are some programs out there to help us, you know, attain those properties, to try to rehabilitate them, to try to revitalize the city,” said local landlord Lendirck Smith.

Cruz and Carwile said this is the beginning phase of this solution, so they do not have all the answers. They are looking at studies from other states to best address the issue here, but they say if nothing is done it will only get worse.

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