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Katrina Pain Index 2009

The Louisiana Weekly, News Report , Bill Quigley and Davida Finger Posted: Aug 26, 2009

As the city of New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast hit by Hurricane Katrina prepares to observe the 4th Anniversary on August 29, when flood waters from ill-constructed levees submerged 80 percent of New Orleans, Davida Finger, a justice lawyer and clinical professor at Loyola University New Orleans and Bill Quigley, a human rights lawyer on leave from Loyola now serving as legal director at the Center for Constitutional Rights, have compiled the following statistics:

0 Number of renters in Louisiana who have received financial assistance from the $10 billion federal post-Katrina rebuilding program Road Home Community Development Block Grant compared to 116,708 homeowners.

0 Number of hospitals in New Orleans providing in-patient mental health care as of September 2009 despite post-Katrina increases in suicides and mental health problems. http://www.abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=8296501&page=1

1. Rank of New Orleans among U.S. cities in murders per capita for 2008. FBI National Crime, Crime in the United States, Preliminary Annual Crime Report (Jan. to Dec. 2008), Table 4, at http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/08aprelim/table_4il-mo.html

1. Rank of New Orleans among U.S. cities in percentage of vacant residences.


2. Number of Katrina cottages completed in Louisiana as of beginning of 2009 hurricane season under $74 million dollar federal program.


33 Percent of 134,000 FEMA trailers in which Katrina and Rita storm survivors were housed after the storms which are estimated by federal government to have had formaldehyde problems. http://www.southernstudies.org/2009/07/post-54.html

35 Percent of child care facilities re-opened in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina. United Way for Greater New Orleans Area, Statistics (Feb. 2008), at http://www.unitedwaynola.org/wlc/successby6/about.htm

35 Percent increase of demand in 2009 at emergency food programs in Orleans and surrounding parishes, an increase pinned on the swelling ranks of under-employed and rising food, housing, and fuel costs. Emilie Bahr, Economic Strife Creates New Clientel for Area Food Banks, City Business, Mar. INSERT DATE, 2009.

50. Ranking of Louisiana among states for overall healthcare. United Health Foundation, Americas Health Rankings, 2008; The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 50 State Comparisons

52. Percent increase in rents in New Orleans since Katrina. Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, Metro New Orleans Fair Market Rent History (2000-2009), at http://www.gnocdc.org/fair_market_rents.html

52 Percent of federal rebuilding money allocated to New Orleans that has actually been received. NOLA Index, page 15/23 https://gnocdc.s3.amazonaws.com/NOLAIndex/ESNOLAIndex.pdf

60 Percent of children in New Orleans public schools who attend public charter schools.


88 Percent of the 600 New Orleans residents who will displaced by proposed new hospital complex who are minorities. Programmatic Environmental Assessment, at 3-86.

160 Number of units which will be public housing eligible in the new St. Bernard area after demolition and rebuilding. St. Bernard was constructed with 1,400 public housing apartments. Only a small percentage of the 4,000 families in public housing in New Orleans before Katrina will be allowed to live in the new housing being constructed on the site where their apartments were demolished.

27,279 Number of Louisiana homeowners who have applied for federal assistance in repair and rebuilding and who have been determined eligible for assistance but who have still not received any money. Road Home Program, Weekly Detailed Statistics as of August 12, 2009. (151,783 eligible applicants and 124,504 have closed).

30,396 - Number of children who have not returned to public school in New Orleans since Katrina. This reduction leaves the New Orleans public school population just over half of what it was pre-Katrina. Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, Public School Enrollment 2008-2009, at http://www.gnocdc.org/school_enrollment.html.

63,799 Number of Medicaid recipients who have not returned to New Orleans since Katrina.

There were 152,686 medicaid enrollees in Orleans in 2004/2005. table 10: http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/offices/publications/pubs-1/Medicaid_0405_WEB.pdf

There were 88, 887 medicaid enrollees in Orleans in latest report. Table 10: http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/offices/publications/pubs-1/Medicaid_07_08_WEB.pdf

65,888 - Unoccupied addresses in New Orleans. This is 31 percent of the addresses in the City and nearly as many as Detroit, a city twice the size of New Orleans. Page 12/23 of NOLA Index August 2009. https://gnocdc.s3.amazonaws.com/NOLAIndex/ESNOLAIndex.pdf And http://www.gnocdc.org/BenchmarksforBlight/index.html

128,341 Number of Louisianians looking for work. Louisiana Workforce Commission, News Release, May 27, 2009, at http://www.laworks.net/Downloads/LMI/Data_for_April_2009.pdf

143,193 Fewer people in New Orleans than before Katrina, according to the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center estimate of 311,853, the most recent population estimate in Orleans. Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, Census Population Estimates 2000-2008, at http://www.gnocdc.org/census_pop_estimates.html

9.5 Million - Dollar amount of federal Medicaid stimulus rejected outright by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal which would have expanded temporary Medicaid coverage for families who leave welfare and get a job. WDSU, Jindal Says No to Health Care Stimulus Funds, at http://www.wdsu.com/money/19057646/detail.html

98 million Dollar amount of unemployment federal stimulus dollars rejected by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal that were available to bolster the unemployment compensation funds to assist 25,000 families in Louisiana and were rejected by Governor Bobby Jindal. MICHELLE MILLHOLLON; March protests Jindal rejection of funds, The Advocate May 28, 2009. and NELP DOCUMENT.
900 Million Dollar amount paid to ICF International, the company that was hired by the State of Louisiana to distribute federal Road Home rebuilding dollars. David Hammer, ICFs Oversight of Road Home Comes to an End, Times Picayune, June 11.

? - Current vulnerability to storm-related flooding. The Army Corps of Engineers continues work to provide protection from a storm surge that has a one percent chance of occurring any given year. However, Katrina was a stronger storm than the system under construction is designed to protect against. Because no updated indicators exist on land loss, coastal restoration and mitigation of flood risk due to human engineering, tracking recovery in this is challenging. GNODC.

Related Articles:

Gulf Coast Leaders Share post-Katrina Census Concerns with Congress

FEMA Temporary Housing Program Ending for Families of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Census Bureau Seeks Help from New Orleans Ethnic Media

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