Monday, February 8, 2016

The Redevelopment of New Orleans and the African American Families Who Helped Make New Orleans Internationally Famous

 Previously Unpublished Notes from 2007

Just because the former residents no longer live in the neighborhood I am now living in doesn't make them strangers. Many were her long before the levy flooding post- Katrina, have strong ties to this area and Mt. Moriah Church.


Affordable housing needs are even more severe today, particularly for renters. More than half the city's rental housing stock was damaged or destroyed, and rents for the remaining units have risen substantially. Many low-income families who were struggling before they were displaced by the storm have been unable to return to the city because they cannot find an affordable place to live. And those who do return are likely to face severe hardship. (Popkin, Turner, and Burt 2006).

Federal, state, and local officials have all expressed a commitment to the safe return and a better future for displaced residents. But without affordable housing options, these commitments cannot be fulfilled, and the redevelopment of New Orleans will be stunted and inequitable. It will exclude a substantial share of the city's long-time residents, many of whom are African American. The absence of a major segment of the workforce will undermine the recovery of the region's economy. Key workers, including those involved in providing health care, child care, and public education may not be able to return, limiting the availability of services that everyone depends upon for a decent quality of life. And the vitality of New Orleans will be eroded by the absence of families and individuals who played key roles in creating and sustaining the region's unique music, art, and cultural traditions

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