Sunday, November 13, 2005

What can be done ...

Haya continues ...

•Mixed-income housing.

Mixed-income projects usually don't provide enough low-income housing to all those who are displaced. That could be the case in New Orleans, especially if land that many low-income people's homes were built on is deemed unsafe for redevelopment.

One opportunity: Much of New Orleans' cheaper housing consists of detached homes on single-family lots. New development could be multifamily units such as midrise apartments and townhomes.

New Orleans also could require developers to sell parts of new housing developments at below-market rates. Suburbs of Washington, Boston, and many California cities that are running out of affordable housing have been doing so for years.

•Vouchers and tax incentives.

The federal government can give the poor housing vouchers that enable them to live in market-rate housing at below-market prices. It also can offer tax credits to developers who build homes for lower- to middle-class families.

•Give jobs in the rebuilding effort to New Orleans residents. Jesse Jackson and other civil rights leaders have suggested that government launch a public-works project to create jobs and rebuild the region. Jackson has objected to the relocation of evacuees throughout the USA. He says they should be given temporary housing close to the city so they have first shot at the jobs that will be available when rebuilding begins.

•Keep the city small and dense.

New Orleans' street grid makes many parts of the city accessible on foot. However, the evacuation fiasco that left thousands stranded as floodwaters rose to rooftops may spur a redesign of streets and highways. That could further isolate the poor who don't have cars. Almost 30% of black households before the flood didn't own cars, compared with 15% of white households, according to the Census Bureau.

•Rebuild tourism.

The hospitality industry is one of New Orleans' largest employers. Business leaders and economic development officials already are scrambling to lure back tourists and conventions. There are plans for a scaled-down Mardi Gras in February.

Pres Kabacoff, chief executive and founder of HRI Properties in New Orleans, suggests that "Much of the historic part of the old city is still intact. Much of the riverfront is intact. Lots of abandoned and blighted housing can be renovated. ... We need to see some cranes in the city and build confidence that things can happen."

New Orleans needs to create jobs before it can hope for a comeback, Gladstone says. Rebuilding will do that, but it won't help the evacuees if they don't get the jobs, he says.

"A lot of people express concern that there won't be any poor people left in New Orleans," he says. "I'd like to see people come back with more job opportunities, more job training. Reconstruction jobs would go far to help them to afford new housing."

El Nasser, Haya “A New Orleans like the old one just won't do” USA TODAY September 18, 2005


jbv's Competitive Edge 


Anonymous mega said...

I believe a crucial part of the rebuilding process, which would include several of the topics that you have mentioned, would be the film industry. It is slowly but surely moving back into the city. In doing so, movies will provide hundreds of jobs to the people, millions of dollars to the state, and will help boost the moral and image of southeastern LA. If correctly utilized, this industry could provide a huge economic lift for the state post-katrina. And because the best spots to film (the quarter, warehouse, and uptown) generally faired well, I think it is a business that will materialize quickly in the near future. If you would like to keep updated on this subject, i have created a blog to study the movie industry in new orleans. It involves news surrounding the politics, economics, and social issues around the industry and attempts to track the post-katrina projects. If you would ever like to comment, add information, etc, please do so. thank you

12:20 PM  

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