STRATEGIC PLAN

Introduction

 

The Strategic Plan for Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans covers the three-year 

period 2016 to 2018. It was developed on the basis of an in-depth and data driven process 

facilitated by Alan Brickman of Brickman Nonprofit Solutions, with a significant amount of 

engagement by the NHS Board of Directors.

 

New Orleans has a great many housing-related needs. There are many blighted properties, high 

rates of poverty, and low rates of homeownership in the city’s neighborhoods. Over 70% of New 

Orleans residents pay more than a third of their income for housing, and many households are 

severely cost-burdened (i.e., greater than 50% of income) by their rents or mortgages. Recent 

economic development and labor market trends create a significant need for new housing units, 

both affordable and market-rate. 

 

Program Components 

 

NHS’s strategic approach to neighborhood revitalization is a multi-faceted effort targeting 

distressed neighborhoods that are not effectively served by market forces, but that have relevant 

assets (i.e., real estate, infrastructure, institutional, and human capital) that can serve as the 

foundation of successful community development and community engagement initiatives. (See 

Appendix B “Criteria for Identifying Target Neighborhoods” for more detail on neighborhood 

selection criteria.) When NHS identifies a neighborhood with both the need and potential for 

revitalization, we work with community residents and resident leaders, community-based and 

faith-based organizations, government officials, and local businesses to plan, fund, and 

implement a comprehensive and sustained set of programs and activities designed to improve the 

community and enhance the quality of life for all its residents. It is important to note that such 

revitalization efforts must be implemented at an appropriate scale to impact an entire 

neighborhood, and projects implemented in the early stages of revitalization must be strategically 

selected in order to successfully catalyze market forces or other resources that can support the 

revitalization goals. 

 

NHS’s neighborhood revitalization strategy has four components, described below. (Additional 

action steps and target levels of activity are included in the “Implementation Plan” section of the 

strategic plan.) 

 

a) Developing and Managing Quality Affordable Housing: Through its Construction and Real 

Estate Services (CRE) department, NHS undertakes new construction and renovation of both 

single-family and multi-family dwellings. Parcels of land and/or existing structures are 

identified and acquired by NHS based on their potential to catalyze neighborhood 

revitalization. Construction projects are implemented through NHS’s network of experienced 

and vetted contractors, and in partnership with other nonprofit and for-profit developers. NHS 

also provides a range of home inspection and construction services to homeowners aimed at 

maintaining the quality and desirability of their homes. NHS manages rental property, both 

clustered single-family houses and multi-family buildings. Finally, NHS works independently 

and in collaboration with other housing and community development organizations and 

coalitions to advocate for public policies and funding that increase access to quality affordable 

housing. 

 

b) Supporting People to Transition to Quality Rental Housing and Homeownership:  

Through its Homeownership Center (HOC), NHS provides homebuyer education, financial 

literacy, credit building, and related information and technical assistance that helps 

individuals and families to stabilize their personal finances and access quality housing, both 

homeownership and rental. In addition, NHS provides ongoing coaching, training, and other 

services that support individuals and families, including the elderly, to prevent foreclosure 

and stay in their homes. Many of NHS’s homebuyer, financial literacy, credit building, and 

related services can be marketed regionally, potentially attracting both tenants and 

homebuyers to NHS’s target neighborhoods. In addition, NHS collaborates with local 

employers to provide housing-related education and other support programs to their 

employees. NHS will focus its efforts to develop such workforce housing initiatives on the 

city’s largest employers, the industry sectors projected to experience significant growth, 

and/or business associations that may provide the opportunity for scale. In some cases, these 

collaborative relationships may evolve to where the employers provide funding to support 

affordable housing development in addition to the educational and support services. 

 

c) Sponsoring Community Building and Engagement Activities for All Residents: Through 

its Community Building and Engagement (CBE) department, NHS provides and/or facilitates 

access to a wide range of training and educational programs, leadership development, small 

business support, and workforce development services and resources. NHS also sponsors 

and/or facilitates community building events and festivals that promote neighborhood 

cohesion and pride. Resident engagement and leadership development are essential for a 

neighborhood to become a vibrant and welcoming place for all to call home. This component 

of NHS’s revitalization strategy creates a pipeline of potential homebuyers and tenants, makes 

the neighborhood attractive to new residents, and improves the quality of life for all residents. 

CBE activities and initiatives maximize resident awareness of and participation in housing-

related programs offered through NHS’s Homeownership Center and the Construction and 

Real Estate Services department. Similarly, through CBE, NHS will collaborate with local 

service providers to create collaborative programs and referral systems that maximize resident 

access to quality educational, recreational, and/or other human services. In addition, NHS will 

create a leadership development curriculum, drawing from best practice models from around 

the country, and market this program to staff and volunteer leadership of local neighborhood 

and civic associations. CBE programming brings the talents, resources, and skills of people in 

the community together, increases their collective capacity, supports advocacy efforts, and 

ensures that the benefits of neighborhood revitalization are shared widely and equitably.

 

d) Market-Rate Housing, Commercial Development, and Neighborhood Infrastructure: 

NHS recognizes that a balanced and diversified development portfolio is important both for 

neighborhood revitalization and for NHS’s revenue growth and financial sustainability. 

NHS’s target areas are distressed inner city neighborhoods, and our clients are typically low-

to-moderate income individuals and families. However, NHS may also take on market-rate 

development projects, potentially including residential, commercial, and/or mixed-use 

projects, streetscapes, and other elements of neighborhood infrastructure. NHS will pursue 

such projects if they: generate significant net revenue to subsidize other NHS services, enable 

NHS to strengthen its working relationships with key partners, play a catalyzing role in 

neighborhood revitalization efforts, and/or provide increased visibility and credibility for 

NHS as a leader of local community development efforts. Often, these market-rate 

development projects can nurture and sustain the neighborhood revitalization benefits realized 

through NHS’s affordable housing efforts. Much of the market-rate development activity will 

happen as opportunities emerge, and the availability of those opportunities are dependent on 

the evolving market forces affecting New Orleans’ neighborhoods, the unique needs of 

particular neighborhoods, and the level of public investment driven by the City’s consolidated 

housing plan. 

 

Note: While this plan clarifies NHS’s broad strategic direction and a timetable for 

implementation over the coming three years, many of the programs and approaches described 

above also have more detailed business and operational plans that provide quantifiable program 

objectives and financial projections for activities such as real estate development and the related 

earned income, the recruitment and engagement of construction and financing partners, and the 

development of workforce housing strategies.

 



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504-899-5900

Find us: 

4605 Freret Street, New Orleans, LA, 70115

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9am - 5pm, Monday - Thursday

© 2019 by Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans