While Jericho Road’s geographic focus began in and still remains the Central City of New Orleans there is a pervasive need for affordable housing around the New Orleans metro area. For that reason Jericho Road is expanding its work outside of its original target area of Central City to include parts of both Orleans and Jefferson Parishes.
Let’s talk about Central City. Central City refers to a large area located in the heart of New Orleans bounded by St. Charles Avenue to the South, Louisiana Avenue to the West, Simon Bolivar Avenue/LaSalle Street to the North, and Calliope Street to the East. This area, while sharing similar physical features, is really a joining of several distinct spaces. We recognize that sense of place is important in promoting stable communities and as such echo residents in recognizing the distinctly unique historical, social, and cultural characteristics of their neighborhood.
Jericho Road’s three target neighborhoods in Central City include:
(1) Faubourg Delassize; (2) Faubourg Livaudais; and (3) Faubourg Lafayette
These Central City neighborhoods share a similar history in their development. The have each been historically underserved by public and private investments. In post-Katrina New Orleans, however, Central City has benefited from a great amount of investment. Development has helped spur a growth in locally-owned businesses, housing projects, and infrastructure improvements. The question before us is whether or not this explosion of investment has trickled down to those who have lived in these neighborhoods for decades. In some ways investment has opened up new job opportunities, greater access to health care and education. It does appear, however, that the growth has been uneven and has fallen short in serving Jericho Road’s target population. Jericho Road’s investment in Central City is an effort to level the playing field by promoting community stability and facilitating the continued growth of thriving neighborhoods. Our belief is that access to affordable housing is the catalyst for driving economic mobility and social equity.
Central City – The Numbers
Central City is a diverse neighborhood, home to all demographics. The Numbers section illustrates who calls Central City home and provides a profile of our target population.
- The larger Central City area is home to just over 11,000 residents, a level that is down from a pre-Katrina population of 19,000
- 72% of these Central City residents are African American
- Those identifying as Hispanic now represent 7% of the community’s residents, a number which has increased by more than 400% since the storm
- 20% of neighborhood residents are under the age of 18, while 12.5% are over the age 65 years old
- 5% of all households are married and have children under 18
- 46% of residents are living below the poverty line, a figure down from a pre-Katrina high of 50%
- 30% of residents work in food services, retail, or hospitality, while an additional 13% work in health care and social assistance
- 76.9% of homes are renter occupied – 23% are owner occupied, a figure up from 16% pre-Katrina
- Average rent is $627.00 (as an average), about $150.00 less than the parish average
- 40% of all owners and 65% of all renters in Central City are burdened by housing affordability, paying more than 30% of their monthly income towards housing costs
Due to the pressing need for affordable housing in New Orleans and given Jericho Road’s designation by the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana as a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) Jericho Road is expanding its work into other regions of the New Orleans Metro area. Expansion includes the Gentilly and Seventh Ward neighborhoods in Orleans Parish and parts of both the East Bank and the West Bank of Jefferson Parish.