Thursday, September 01, 2005

A Divine Bullet for New Orleans

I heard a talk show this morning where the question was raised about the aid offered to rebuild New Orleans and the show host offered the comment that it would be better to give everyone a pile of money to move on rather than rebuild New Orleans. (The infrastructure).
I do not see that happening. However, there is a problem developing that is not being explained to the folks who are returning to their homes.
We are told that most of the flooded homes must be destroyed and rebuilt because of mildew, fungus and other damage. Many of these homes are older and of a reasonable value and housed many low income families. When these houses are rebuilt they must meet the current standards of constuction, current codes and will be constructed at current costs of labor.
The good folks who moved out of the old houses will now be found unable to qualify for the mortgages required to build the new houses. This is a major problem that will effect the people long after the press has gone and there will be heartache and shock. Rentals will also be much more expensive.
Giving these folks money to move on to areas where they can purchase more moderate housing might be the fairest offer yet suggested.
What will happen to New Orleans? The mayor has a plan for a Las Vegas style community and that might happen by default.

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