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We've collected a stories about the 2015 Louisiana Legislative Session. What new bill is coming up for a vote? How are lawmakers doing in protecting higher education and health care from cuts? What other initiatives are in the works for Louisiana? Find them here.

Full Senate Could Hear Arguments On Bill Regarding State Authority Over Rent Prices

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The full Senate could hear arguments today on a bill that would strip local jurisdictions of the ability to mandate real estate developers set aside a certain portion of their housing as lower rent. Metairie Senator Dan Martiny, the bill’s sponsor, says affordable housing initiatives should be voluntary, not mandatory.

 

Martiny says, "If the city's going to give that incentive, that's fine. But we don't want the cities to mandate to the developers that they have to include the low income unit." 

 

Martiny says rent prices and housing availability should not be subject to local control.

 

Martiny expresses that he thinks "the market is going to dictate it."

 

He says the bill is an attempt to preempt rent reform movements that are picking up steam in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

 

But Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center Policy Director Maxwell Ciardullo says requiring developers to build lower cost units gives thousands of working class people the chance at finding a reasonable rent.

 

Ciardullo says, "There are 800 programs throughout the country and together those programs have produced hundreds of thousands of units that are affordable to the average worker."

 

Ciardullo says it’s a gross overreach of state governmental power.

 

Ciardullo expresses that the most dangerous thing the state could do is to infringe on local zoning power. He says that local zoning power is "one of the most locally controlled" aspects of real estate.