Sunday, August 27, 2006

The plight of renters in New Orleans

What precisely are governmental officials prepared to do for New Orleans's poorest residents? In principle, mixed-use zoning and other measures designed to break concentrated areas of poverty have much to recommend themselves. In a pair of powerful posts, however, Rachel Godsil and Bill Quigley suggest that pragmatic considerations counsel otherwise. Bill reports that rents have risen 39 percent, and the poorest renters are being squeezed out. Rachel concludes that "the ideal of mixed-income development seems naive in the context of a destroyed New Orleans, little action to assist renters to return, and the backdrop of comments" by public officials to the effect that New Orleans "doesn't need 'soap opera watchers.'"

Editor's note: The dilapidated rental housing depicted here is not from New Orleans, but rather from Hickory, N.C.


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