Trenika Starks 

Senior Director of Programs | HousingNOLA

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Top Real Estate Influencer

Established in 2014, HousingNOLA is a 10-year plan and partnership between community leaders and public, private and nonprofit organizations working to solve the affordable housing crisis in the city of New Orleans. The plan offers a data framework that informs future housing policy centered around more considerate and scalable housing developments affordable for all income levels.

The organization’s mission is to provide a road map to maximize the effectiveness of scarce government funding, increase non-traditional resources and assist private sector investors in making strategic choices that support affordable housing.

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What are you most excited about in the coming year? Currently, we are striving to secure additional partnerships as well as funding to relaunch HousingNOLA’s Own the Crescent, a housing program that will build wealth among native New Orleanians by providing the capital resources to borrowers of color who need financial support to purchase their first home or maintain investment property.
Through Own the Crescent we’d like to: expand opportunities for low- and middle-class families; revitalize underserved communities through real estate development, putting vacant properties back into commerce; reduce developmental costs; and preserve culture, place and people.

What is the biggest challenge facing your industry today? One of the biggest challenges is the fact that the New Orleans region is still struggling to address many of the economic struggles produced by both the COVID-19 pandemic and the Hurricane Ida crises. Both disasters alike have tested the resilience of our city by exposing ongoing issues with our economy and housing stock.
Currently, there is a severe shortage of housing priced to meet the needs of the average New Orleanian. Half of the city’s residents are renters, and most are cost burdened, having to spend more than a third of their income on housing. Sadly, wages have not come close to mirroring the dramatic rise in housing costs. Combining these expenses, with the mounting rates for essentials such as utilities, food and fuel — as well as dominating low living wages — has made it increasingly more difficult for residents to obtain housing that is actually affordable.


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Entergy’s Energy Smart Program Brings Cost Conscious Innovation to New Orleans

Offering comprehensive energy efficiency at no cost to the consumer, Entergy’s Energy Smart program incentivizes Entergy New Orleans customers to perform energy-saving upgrades in...

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