Housing Recovery

Hurricane Katrina damaged 500,000 homes across the Gulf Region and nearly 250,000 in Louisiana. The impact Hurricane Katrina had on New Orleans’ housing stock alone was extensive: nearly 80 percent of the 184,000 homes and apartments and almost all the affordable and public housing in the city was damaged or destroyed.

Much of the work to rebuild has taken place one home and one homeowner at a time. Most homeowners in the region received financing to repair their property through a combination of private and National Flood insurance proceeds and the more than $9 billion in Road Home grants. As of 2015, 46,910 Orleans Parish residents received $4.3 billion in Road Home funding. In total, $9 billion in Road Home funds have been dispersed to 130,038 pre-Katrina property owners across Louisiana to help them rebuild.

Much of the public housing stock was also destroyed as a result of Hurricane Katrina. The City took a deliberate and strategic approach to improving upon the public housing model by enhancing developments into mixed-income communities. With HUD’s authorization, the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) undertook a massive redevelopment program (estimated at more than $1 billion) to demolish and recreate the four main public housing sites: Lafitte, St. Bernard, B.W. Cooper and C.J. Peete, known by many as “the Big Four.” HANO continued the redevelopment activities at Desire, Fischer, St. Thomas and Guste. A $30 million Choice Neighborhoods grant is helping to transform the Iberville community.

Under Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the City of New Orleans is also leading the country with its aggressive action to reduce blight and vacant property with a focus on strong code enforcement around schools, parks, and playgrounds. The City has reduced blight faster than anywhere in the country–13,000 properties in 4 years.

While affordable housing remains a challenge, it is being addressed through policy changes, incentives, first-time homebuyer programs and subsidies for developers, including the use of funding from the HOME Investment Partnership Act to provide resources to meet housing needs such as Rental and Homeowners Rehabilitation Programs, Affordable Housing Programs, and Minor Home Repair Programs.

Today, the housing market in New Orleans is strong. Both housing prices and sales are up, the U.S. Census recently noted that New Orleans remains one of America’s fastest growing cities, and for the first time since Katrina, the city of New Orleans is among the nation’s 50 most populous cities.

Key Recovery Data

$9 billion

Dispersed to 130,038 pre-Katrina homeowners in Louisiana to help rebuild their homes through the Road Home Grant and the Nonprofit Rebuilding Pilot Program

$279,369

Average home sale price in Orleans Parish in 2013, compared to $237,768 in 2005

$1 billion+

Spent on redevelopment of the City’s 9 large-scale housing communities as well as other units throughout the city, including $600 million in private and nonprofit funding to redevelop “The Big Four”

800+

First-time homebuyers received $52 million in assistance from the City’s Soft Second Mortgage Program since 2010

3,000+

Road Home properties given to New Orleans Redevelopment Authority returned to commerce for housing, increased green space and alternative land use

$543 million

Invested in 59 new multi-family rental developments in the region—7,475 units total

13,000+

Blighted units in New Orleans demolished, remediated or brought into compliance through the most ambitious fight against blight in the nation

Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)

Reimagining Housing

New Orleans has invested HOME, CDBG, NSP1, NSP2 and NHIF funds to develop:

4,958

Affordable rental units

637

Housing rehabilitations for low-income homeowners

551

Permanent supportive housing units