WEST MONROE, LA. (KTVE/KARD) — Across the nation, states are suffering from an affordable housing crisis, and here in Louisiana, it is no different. The crisis often comes from there being a large number of people in need of homes, and not enough affordable properties to fulfill that need.
In Louisiana, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. To rent a fair market price one-bedroom house in the state, a minimum wage worker would have to work 81 hours a week. This leaves many workers in search of affordable housing. But with 32% of the state’s renters considered extremely low income, even affordable housing can be hard to come by.
Scooter Howell, an owner and operator of rental properties in West Monroe, LA., said supply and demand produces a large part of the problem and that housing programs’ refusal to allow raises in rent forces owners to close properties and leave people without a home.
“The bank owns all my houses and I pay the bank. So my interest rate went up almost double in the last two years from what we were paying. So our rent has to go up, and our housing program won’t allow that. There are some cases where I have a note on a house that is more than the rent, and we’re having to move those residents out because the housing program will go up on.”
With these ongoing issues and people continuing to be in need of affordable housing, the crisis is sure to be around for a while longer.