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Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Long Way Home, August 2008

Policy Link has just released its analysis of the progress of housing rebuilding and repair in Louisiana since Katrina three years ago. The report, A Long Way Home: The State of Housing Recovery in Louisiana 2008, focuses on the three federal programs: the Road Home for homeowners, the large rental program, and the small rental program.

Key findings posted Aug. 21 on Equity Blog by report author, Annie Clark:

• In New Orleans, 4 of every 5 Road Home recipients rebuilding their homes did not get enough money to cover their repairs. Statewide, more than 2 of every 3 face the same predicament.
• Statewide, the average Road Home applicant fell more than $35,000 short of the money they need to rebuild their home. The shortfall hit highly flooded, historically African-American communities particularly hard.
• Nearly 40,000 low-income homeowners received an average of about $27,000 each from an additional Road Home grant program designed to help vulnerable residents.
• Renters still face huge hurdles—only 2 in 5 damaged affordable rental units statewide will be repaired or replaced with recovery assistance. In the New Orleans metro region, it’s an even more dismal rate of 1 in 3.
• The national credit crunch and personal financial vulnerability keeps many mom-and-pop landlords from being able to rebuild through the small rental repair program. Meant to restore more than 10,000 rental homes, the program has completed only 82.
• Nearly 28,000 families nationwide still rely on disaster rental assistance, with 14,000 in the greater New Orleans metro region alone. There will not be nearly enough affordable rental units on the market by the time the assistance runs out in March 2009.

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