IN THIS ISSUE:
 
Letter from the Executive Director  

Cash Money Records Founders Pay June Rent for Hundreds of HANO Families 

HANO Implements Policy Modifications to Aid in Slowing the Spread of the Coronavirus Outbreak
 
HANO to Extend Voucher Term Deadline 
Thru June 30th

HANO Families Receive Vital Resources During COVID-19 Crisis

Urban Strategies Provides Free Resources to HANO Communities

Kingsley House & the Bayou District Foundation Assist Columbia Parc Residents

NORDC Announces Start of Summer Camps at The Estates Community Center

NAR-SAAH Partners with Howard University to Host Mental Health Awareness Webinar for Resident Leaders

HANO's Senior Communities Receive COVID-19 Testing in Partnership with the City of New Orleans Health Department
 



Over the next few weeks, the City of New Orleans, LCMC Health, the New Orleans Health Department, and Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) will host mobile testing for COVID-19 throughout metro area neighborhoods that have been hit hard by the virus.
  • You are eligible for testing if you are 18+ years old, and have recently been exposed or had symptoms of the virus. 

If you have lost your job or have reduced work hours, you may be eligible for Medicaid. Here are a few options to apply for Medicaid assistance:
   
1. Apply online at MyMedicaid.la.gov.
 
2. Apply by phone by calling 1-888-342-6207 or
    by mail by sending information to:
 
Louisiana Medicaid
P.O. Box 91283
Baton Rouge, LA 70821

3. Louisiana Medicaid Regional Offices are now open to members. A limited number of people will be allowed in the offices in order to follow social distancing guidelines. For a directory of Medicaid office locations, visit medicaid.la.gov
 
     
Call 2-1-1 
for information on daily food pantries & meal distribution operations

Call 3-1-1
if you are a senior and/or homebound due to special medical needs and would like to sign up for Hands On Senior Meal Program


 
for free food sites in New Orleans, where food and supplies are provided to hospitality workers, gig economy workers, musicians, artists, and anyone in need


 
COVID-19 Child Nutrition Programs for Families 
Click here for locations of NOLA Public Schools giving out free breakfast and lunch meals for children every Monday and Wednesday from 9am to 12pm

  
Visit nordc.org
for locations of after school meals for students through New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORD)


 
to apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) if you are experiencing food insecurity

 

You may be eligible for unemployment insurance if:
  • Your work hours have been reduced because of lack of work due to Coronavirus.
  • Your workplace closes temporarily, and you are not being compensated.
  • You have been instructed not to go to work, and you are not being paid while at home. 

 

If you are eligible, contact the Louisiana Workforce Commission at 866-783-5567 to apply for unemployment insurance!


The City of New Orleans Job 1 office is assisting with filing unemployment claims. Call (504) 658-4500 Monday through Friday 8:30am to 6:30pm. Due to high call volume, citizens are asked to please be patient. 
  
Benefits Online

The State of Louisiana will hire hundreds of Louisianians as Contact Tracers to fight the spread of COVID-19. To apply, you must:
  • Have a high school diploma
  • Feel comfortable having a telephone conversation with someone and also entering data
  • Be compassionate, and able to protect and honor patient privacy
  • Complete a very detailed training session
 
To apply, email ContactTracing@la.gov
 
  

 

Apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Online at SBA.GOV
An SBA loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 crisis


Apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Online at SBA.GOV
Impacted small businesses may apply for up to $2 million in working capital to pay for fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can't be paid because of the COVID-19 disaster


Apply for Small Business Loan Fund for Southern Businesses Online at HOPECU.ORG 
 A paycheck protection program for businesses and non-profit organizations

 
Louisiana Small Business Development Center 
For guidance on the SBA application process, email  lsbdc.gnor@lsbdc.org or call 504-831-3730 to be connected directly with a consultant for assistance.



Cox Communications' Connect2Compete Offers Affordable Home Internet Program for Qualifying Families
  • Through Connect2Compete, Cox provides low-cost, home internet with wifi for $9.95 per month.
     
  • To qualify for the Cox Connect2Compete affordable internet program, your household must have at least one K-12 student and participate in a government assistance program. Applicants may need to provide documentation for eligibility. 
 

 

To view more Coronavirus resources, visit www.hano.org/tenants/resources.


To submit self-certification forms, visit 

 
For more information on upcoming HANO Board of Commissioners Meetings, visit




HANO Welcomes New Members of the Board of Commissioners




HANO is Partnering with the 2020 Census to Count You!

Respond like your HOUSING depends on it...because IT DOES!

Please respond via mail, phone, or online at www.2020Census.gov
 by Friday, August 14th!
 

Like me on Facebook
Hurricane Season is
 June 1st to November 30th.





Download the FEMA app!
Learn more about the hazards and risks in
your area at www.fema.gov.



Visit the State of Louisiana website!
Learn more about state of emergency announcements at https://gov.louisiana.gov/.
 
 



V isit
ready.gov/hurricane & ready.nola.gov for hurricane safety tips!



Visit www.hano.org for hurricane safety resources!

 
 

For updates on operational changes, and for any questions and concerns, visit www.HANO.org.  

Program Information for HCVP Participants:
(504) 670-3295 (Phone)
hcvpinfo@hano.org (Email) 


Agency Information for the General Public:
(504) 670-3300 (Phone)



Dear readers, 

Thank you for picking up the Spring 2020 Edition of
HANO news. This issue provides readers with information on how New Orleans entities and government agencies have provided an abundance of resources during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. It also recaps HANO's response, and includes a snapshot of how we partnered with service providers to solicit much needed support for our clients.
 
As residents, emergency and essential personnel, business owners and government agencies battle this horrific pandemic, the provision of low-income housing assistance remains among the most vital services needed. Stay-at-Home orders were issued by Governor John Bel Edwards and Mayor LaToya Cantrell, and confirm the absolute necessity for healthy, sustainable homes. To ensure the safety of residents and staff, HANO immediately responded to the orders by restricting public access to administration and property management offices, and implementing protocols to ensure continuity of all critical functions and programs. 
 
Although modified operations have been temporarily instituted, we've continued to maintain contact with participants to provide essential services for the families we serve. Mailed and emailed correspondence was provided to all program participants with specifications on major policy changes implemented in accordance with The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act provides immediate protections and financial relief for families, including a moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent established because of the unexpected and drastic loss of wages, and dramatic increase in unemployment cases across the nation. This will ensure our residents are able to remain in safe homes during this unfortunate time. 
 
The Housing Authority will continue to closely monitor the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the virus has created an extremely tragic loss of life and unprecedented economic hardship, we will remain vigilant in communicating policy and operational modifications and identifying community resources that may affect our clients and stakeholders.
 
Please continue to visit the HANO website and social media pages to receive real-time updates on additional changes implemented as we weather this storm together.

 - Evette Hester


Rapper Birdman and Slim of Cash Money Records assisted hundreds of HANO residents with their rent payment this month 

Rapper Bryan "Birdman" Williams and Ronald "Slim" Williams of Cash Money Records recently donated over $225,000 to Forward Together New Orleans (FTNO), the Mayor's Fund that launched in 2018 as the transition committee for Mayor LaToya Cantrell and now supports the City's efforts in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, to assist hundreds of HANO families with rent payments this month. The grant will be awarded to public housing residents who currently reside in Marrero Commons, Guste Homes, and Harmony Oaks communities. Tenants will be notified directly if they are eligible for the grant, which will be paid directly to the landlord.
 
The Cash Money founders grew up near the Harmony Oaks Community, formerly known as the Magnolia Housing Project. "The legacy of Cash Money belongs to the city of New Orleans. There's nothing more important to us than giving back to the brothers and sisters who live on those same streets we grew up on - from musicians to service workers to everyday working families. That's what this label was always about," Rapper Birdman stated in a press release.
 
For more information on FTNO's partnership with Cash Money Records, visit www.FTNO.org .




In March, HANO implemented policy modifications that will aid in providing financial relief, and in protecting the health and safety of staff and the residents served by the Agency.  These modifications were executed in response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak and as a part of The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed into law on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act provides immediate protections for families that include a federal non-payment eviction moratorium for tenants receiving housing payment assistance and the elimination of late fees and terminations through July 25th.
 
The Agency has continued to provide essential services to operate according to federal and CDC guidelines. All new operational and policy modifications include the following:  
 
HCVP Participants and Public Housing Residents  
  • A national moratorium has been established to cease evictions and terminations for Public Housing residents, Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) participants and residents in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) units until July 25, 2020.   
  • HANO will not file eviction actions for nonpayment of rent, fees or charges. No late fees or penalties will be charged for non-payment of rent.
  • Nonpayment of rent eviction hearings will not be scheduled until after July 25, 2020. Evictions that were filed before the moratorium was established or that are filed after it ends will be processed once it is lifted.
  • HANO will continue to pay its portion of rent to landlords on behalf of HCVP participants.  Participants of the HCV program should continue to pay their portion of the rent to the landlord.
  • All residents must continue to pay their rent.  HANO, along with each property management company, will continue to accept rental payments for public housing and LIHTC residents. Rent payments can be mailed to the property management office, placed in boxes at each property location, or paid online if properties provide that service.
  • HANO will continue to provide Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) to the mortgage lenders on behalf of the Homeownership Program participants. If the client needs a deferment on their mortgage payment during this time, they must contact their mortgage company to request this assistance. 
Additional policy modifications implemented include the following: 

Inspections and Work Order Service Requests 
  • All p ublic housing inspections have been suspended with the exception of inspections to remove abatements, emergency inspections and initial inspections.  
     
    Housing Choice Voucher Program inspections were also suspended with the exception of inspections to remove abatements, emergency inspections and initial inspections. However, HANO's contractor McCright & Associates recently beg a n scheduling tenant and project-based voucher unit re-inspection s by providing advance notification via mail correspondence and phone calls.  Inspectors will continue to adhere to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and wear the appropriate personal protective equipment, and will exercise caution during the inspection process. 
  • HANO will be completing emergency service requests for public housing residents at the properties they manage. Property managers at third party managed sites will complete emergency service requests for residents at their properties.   
  • Residents of the William J. Fischer community can contact the emergency maintenance hotline at (504) 915-2804 or email Fischer@hano.org
  • Residents of the New Florida community and in scattered site units can contact the emergency maintenance hotline at (504) 915-6160 or at mascott@hano.org.
General Public and Vendor/Landlord Access 
  • Access to the HANO Administration office, HCVP office and property management offices are prohibited until further notice.    
  • HCV Program participants will be able to contact staff via email at hcvpinfo@hano.org or, at (504) 670-3295.   
  • The general public and stakeholders will be able to contact staff via email at hanocovid19@hano.org, or at (504) 670-3300. 
  • Documents may be mailed to:   
 
 Housing Authority of New Orleans  
4100 Touro Street
 New Orleans, LA 70122 
ATTENTION: _______________
 
  • The agency will maintain contact with the general public via phone, email, website and social media posting.   
  • Informational signage is currently posted on both buildings, indicating the various methods of contact currently available. 

Public Meetings 

Loss of Income - Interim Adjustments
  • In-person program compliance interviews have been canceled until further notice. 
  • If residents experience a loss of income, they should report it immediately to their property manager to request a rent adjustment.  If your employer is unable to provide third party verification of changes to income, residents can complete a COVID-19 Self Certification Form that is located online at http://www.hano.org/Tenants/Forms, and may mail or email the form to their property management office. 
HANO implemented the policy changes in response to Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards 'Stay At Home Order' issued March 22nd due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. Essential personnel will continue to be available on a limited basis to address emergencies and to perform critical functions only. Critical deliveries and document drop-offs will be accepted only at a designated entrance located at 4100 Touro Street.

 
Effective April 22, 2020, t he Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) announced additional operational modifications due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. 

In an effort to continue providing essential services to residents, HANO will grant automatic voucher term extensions to Housing Choice Voucher Program participants currently searching for suitable housing. Program participants that received vouchers in March and April will have until June 30, 2020 to locate a rental unit.   

Voucher recipients are advised to contact the agency via email at hcvpinfo@hano.org, or phone at (504) 670-3295 for any questions or concerns. For more information and to view COVID-19 resources, visit www.hano.org.
 



A volunteer delivers groceries to a resident at The Estates Community (Photo Credit: Master Clean Life Company)

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, local non-profit organizations continue to provide vital resources to maintain the health and safety of residents across HANO communities.

Rapper Master P, in partnership with the Master Clean Life Company, recently provided groceries, cleaning supplies and other necessities to 20 senior households in The Estates community. 

"The more we make, the more we give. Through these uncertain times, we really wanted to help our elderly get through this. Many of the seniors are not able to get to the stores; they are running out of groceries and resources are low. We just want to do what we can to help them. They took care of us, now it's our turn to take care of them," said Master P on the Master Clean Life Company website. 

Last month, Second Harvest of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana distributed 1,800 meals to Fischer residents. Meal distribution to Fischer residents launched on April 2nd, and will continue through June 2020 at the Fischer Senior Community Center. Upon its completion this month, the Fischer Community will continue its food pantry distribution on Wednesdays and Fridays for families in need of assistance. 

For more information on the meal distribution schedule at the Fischer community, please call the community center at (504) 266-2503.

In the Guste Homes Community, Resident Management Corporation (RMC) staff distributed personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect its most vulnerable residents. Guste RMC distributed cloth face coverings to the senior residents within their community. In addition, the community donated face coverings to the Fischer Senior, Heritage Senior Residences, Flint Goodridge, Faubourg Lafitte, Marrero Commons, and Scattered Site properties. Thanks to a donation from LSU Medical Center, Guste RMC also provided gloves to senior residents within their community. 


A Bienville Basin resident picks up free breakfast and lunch for her son (Photo Credit: Bienville Basin)

Urban Strategies, Inc. continues to provide a number of resources to families in the Bienville Basin, Faubourg Lafitte, Harmony Oaks, and Marrero Commons communities during the COVID-19 crisis. 

To date, Urban Strategies, in partnership with Second Harvest and The Healthy School Food Collaborative, has distributed 3,000 meals to seniors, and 2,300 breakfasts and lunches to school age children. 

"Urban Strategies is helping to remove barriers for families, specifically by providing referrals to food pantries and supplies in addition to picking up and dropping off food boxes for families who have difficulties with transportation, " said Urban Strategies Project Manager Mai Dang.

Urban Strategies' staff also distributed a total of 1,900 cloth face coverings to Bienville Basin, Faubourg Lafitte, Marrero Commons and Harmony Oaks residents. The organization secured donations through the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Engagement's Sew Dat initiative, Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer, and OC Mask Masters.
 
In addition, the organization has also assisted families in applying for hospital relief funds, unemployment benefits, and additional online training programs for future employment opportunities. For individuals with COVID-19 medical emergencies, Urban Strategies' staff continues to ensure all health and family needs are being met, and supporting them in navigating the health care system. 


Kingsley House staff prepares a grocery delivery for Heritage Senior residents (Photo Credit: Columbia Parc)

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Columbia Parc management team continues to provide vital resources to protect its most vulnerable residents. Columbia Parc staff contacted each resident via phone to determine resource needs in addition to providing a resource guide to their doorstep. 

In collaboration with its partners, Kingsley House and the Bayou District Foundation, Columbia Parc has provided ongoing food delivery, along with vouchers from Rouses grocery store, to the residents at Heritage Senior. Additionally, the Columbia Parc team has also been instrumental in identifying emergency financial assistance for its residents.
 
Although the management office remains closed, the management team at Columbia Parc is available via phone during office hours. In addition, the maintenance staff continues to complete essential and emergency service requests while wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).

To contact the Columbia Parc team, please call (504) 284-4769 (Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:30pm). 

 
The New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC) recently announced the upcoming start of Summer Camps at The Estates' community center. 

This year, the NORDC Summer Camps will begin on Monday June 15th. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization will adhere to strict social distancing measures, and will host fewer campers with different activities.

To register, parents or guardians must provide the following documents: identification, proof of income, proof of residency in Orleans Parish, your child's report card, and birth certificate. For more information on registration for NORDC Summer Camps, visit their website at  https://nordc.org/home/



 
This month, members of the HANO Resident Leadership, in partnership with the National Alliance of Resident Services in Affordable and Assisted Housing (NAR-SAAH), participated in a webinar on Mental Health Awareness during the COVID-19 pandemic. The free webinar was made possible by funding from the National Institute of Health, and was hosted by Howard University and conducted by Dr. Sandra E. Crewe, Dean of the School of Social Work.

Through this initiative, NAR-SAAH convened 30 resident leaders from five of its member housing authorities : New Orleans, LA; Annapolis, MD; Chicago, IL; Gary, IN; and Birmingham, AL. In addition, HANO Client Services Director Angela Harper, two staff members from Urban Strategies, Inc., and eight HANO residents participated in the webinar. 
 
The two-hour training provided attendees with an overview of the importance of mental health awareness for resident leaders, with a specific focus on the needs of residents and service coordinators during the pandemic. Webinar participants were also provided with the necessary tools for addressing social or physical distancing, and increased awareness of how to address grief. When the training concluded, attendees were presented with a certificate of completion.    

 

The City of New Orleans, the New Orleans Health Department, and the CORE Foundation utilized free COVID-19 testing at the Guste Homes Community (Photo Credit: City of New Orleans) 

Senior communities are particularly vulnerable during the pandemic because elderly individuals have a much higher risk of experiencing severe COVID complications. To stop the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in these communities, the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO), in partnership with the New Orleans Health Department and the Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE), provided on-site COVID-19 testing to all interested residents this month. Although provided within HANO's senior communities that include Guste Homes, Lafitte Senior, and Fischer Senior Village, this program was also open to the general public, and administered a total of 491 tests. 
 
"We have identified ramped-up testing as a major milestone for advancing the phased reopening of New Orleans. Partnerships have played a critical role in moving this particular aspect forward. I'd like to thank CORE co-founders Sean Penn and Ann Lee and the rest of their team as they stand up this month-long project at Guste Homes in Central City - the very definition of meeting people where they are," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. "We're equally excited to have the New Orleans Health Department and students from local universities doing their part in this effort as well."

The testing site was operated by CORE staff members and volunteers who are part of the New Orleans community, including graduate students from Xavier and Tulane universities. The New Orleans Health Department also provided staffing.
 
According to the New Orleans Health Department, access to testing, treatment, and resources during an outbreak should not be inequitably available and further exacerbate deep disparities in economics and health. Their multi-layered approach to community testing prioritize s citizens with the greatest need and at the highest risk, and helps to ensure that New Orleans' recovery from COVID-19 is even, fair, and beneficial to all.
 
For more information on the City of New Orleans' mobile testing sites, visit ready.nola.gov.