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51 Howard L.J. 481 (2007-2008)
Exiling the Poor: The Clash of Redevelopment and Fair Housing in Post-Katrina New Orleans

handle is hein.journals/howlj51 and id is 495 raw text is: Exiling the Poor: The Clash of
Redevelopment and Fair Housing in
Post-Katrina New Orleans
JUDITH BROWNE-DIANIS AND ANITA SINHA*
INTRODUCTION
Katrina was a tragedy, but its aftermath presents the most exciting
urban opportunity since San Francisco in 1906. Pioneers, please
apply.'1
Hurricane Katrina caused a crisis of a magnitude never before
seen on U.S. soil. With thousands dead and hundreds of thousands
displaced,2 policymakers swiftly presented the tragedy as an opportu-
nity for New Orleans. However, the critical inquiries are: an opportu-
nity for whom?; and what is the government's responsibility to ensure
that low-income residents are afforded a viable right to return?
Prior to Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was a city mired in in-
equitable opportunities. The city had one of the highest levels of in-
come inequality in the United States,3 and the stark disparities in
economic and social opportunities were demarcated along racial lines.
According to a 2000 report, 88% of those living in subsidized housing
* Judith Browne-Dianis is co-director and Anita Sinha is a staff attorney at Advancement
Project, a communications and legal action organization committed to racial justice. They, along
with Bill Quigley, Tracie Washington, Judson Mitchell, and Jenner & Block, are counsel in An-
derson v. Jackson, a lawsuit brought by New Orleans public housing residents who were dis-
placed after Hurricane Katrina. The authors would like to thank the residents and the Anderson
legal team who have fought tirelessly, and often thanklessly, for the preservation of affordable
housing in New Orleans. The authors also would like to thank Jill Tauber, Skadden Fellow at
Advancement Project, for her research assistance.
1. James K. Glassman, Back to the Future, WALL ST. J., Jan. 12, 2006, available at http://
opinionjournal.com/cc/?id=110007798.
2. Rebecca Eaton, Escape Denied: The Gretna Bridge and the Government's Armed Block-
ade in the Wake of Katrina, 13 TEX. WESLEYAN L. REV. 127, 128-29 (2006).
3. Id. at 132.
2008 Vol. 51 No. 3

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