NEW ORLEANS — Housing was the topic of discussion on Saturday inside of Greater St. Stephen Baptist Church in the East.

District E residents like Darren Rousseau spent time learning about what is being done to improve housing. His biggest concern: Blight, and how it impacts property values and future development in his neighborhood.

"Events like this increases the hope. It makes the light at the end of the tunnel shine brighter," Rosseau said.  

Blight and what it means for development were both discussed with the overall goal being to quality and safe housing that is affordable in District E, where home prices tend to be lower than other parts of the city.

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The event was hosted by New Orleans City Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen, who said fixing the housing problem takes input from homeowners, renters and developers.

"The most important thing is that we create a solution, we create a plan on how we address and we got to all work together," Nguyen said.

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Andreanecia Morris with the organization HousingNOLA said there is a 10-year plan in place to end what she calls an affordability crisis.

"Just because rental rates and housing opportunities are less expensive it's still not priced appropriately for the average New Orleanian," Morris said.

Part of the organization's plan involves what is known as the smart housing mix, which puts an emphasis on affordable mixed-use homes near transit.  

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For Rousseau, he left the meeting feeling positive about the future of his neighborhoor, but said he knows a lot of work still needs to be done.

"If we don't respond to what's before us it's going to stay this way, and I want to respond to it," Rousseau said.