This study was developed by the Center for Housing and Community Studies (CHCS) in response to a request from Build Baton Rouge, the City of Baton Rouge, Healthy BR, and the Mid-City Redevelopment Alliance who are leading the Housing 1st Alliance efforts to solve for affordable housing needs in East Baton Rouge Parish. East Baton Rouge Parish an area with unique needs, strengths, and weaknesses. As noted in the 2019 – 2023 Consolidated Plan & 2019 Annual Action Plan of the City of Baton Rouge and Parish of East Baton Rouge, “Lack of safe, adequate, accessible and affordable housing continues to be the biggest issue facing the Baton Rouge area. The aging housing stock continues to deteriorate, even more so after the 2016 floods, and many hurricanes and tropical storms impacting the area. According to the report, “This has led to substandard housing conditions for many low-income families.”

The project has involved compiling, analyzing, and mapping local jurisdictional, state, and national data sources on residential housing. We have analyzed local mortgage markets, house sales, public housing, voucher programs, market rental patterns, fair housing issues, and other data. A sub-market analysis, or ‘market segmentation model,’ of the Parish has been created from this data. Housing stock and market data, vacancy rates, community condition, health outcomes, and other neighborhood characteristics are all considered in the process.

The project was conducted over a 12-month period. While project team members were unable to visit East Baton Rouge Parish due to COVID19, we met regularly with Baton Rouge Housing FIRST Project Director and members of the advisory committee. We also convened two stakeholder forums and conducted five interviews with key informants. During the process of gathering data and resources from East Baton Rouge Parish we were in contact with service agencies, governmental offices, non-profits, and community leaders. Data collection instruments and protocols were tailored to the local community in an iterative collaborative process.

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