Mounting Losses: Women and Public Housing After Hurricane Katrina
New Orleans public housing apartments five years ago were home to thousands of families. The residents held jobs, attended schools, and participated in New Orleans culture and its communities over the decades the developments stood. When the city’s levees ruptured and the brick apartments flooded, residents fled and found shelter in other towns and cities. The disaster emptied New Orleans and destroyed much of its housing. Five years later, market rates for renting private apartments have risen, nearly all of the old public apartments have been removed while the new remain under construction, and former residents of public housing are still displaced. For public housing tenants, most of whom were low-income African American women and their families, housing support in New Orleans has been transformed.