Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A challenge for renters in New Orleans...

All five of the New Orleans rental units owned by Jerome Anderson were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. He also lost his home to the storm.

New Orleans' renters are on their own as rents skyrocket across the city, up an average of 39% since Hurricane Katrina. Though some aid has been set aside for landlords, many lower-income residents say they are unable to return because they have been priced out.

Most of the money set aside for post-Katrina reconstruction is going to homeowners. The many thousands who lived in rental property prior to Katrina are not getting any help. It seems likely that many low-income former residents will not be able to return to their native city.

(Photo: Ozier Muhammad / The New York Times)


It is estimated that more than 48,000 rental units were destroyed or heavily damaged by the storm. That's about 40% of the original stock of apartments and rental houses. It is easy to see why so many do not have the option of returning to New Orleans.