Half of the respondents have already moved back to New Orleans. Currently, there are 1,824 families living in a combination of rehabilitated and newly-constructed public housing units in New Orleans. There are another 253 units available for lease and another 790 units under repair. Former residents who are not living in public housing units are receiving housing assistance under the Disaster Voucher Program either in New Orleans or in another city.
In addition to gauging the housing preferences of current and former HANO residents, the survey sought to explore when residents intend to return to New Orleans. Nearly 80 percent expressed a desire to return to New Orleans within six months. When asked what barriers, if any, might delay their return, many families indicated they needed transportation and moving assistance. HANO intends to contact all families who responded to the survey and who expressed a preference to return to New Orleans to help facilitate their move.
In June 2006, HUD and HANO proposed to redevelop the four public housing communities (St. Bernard, Lafitte, C.J. Peete and B.W. Cooper) that were most severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Last December, the New Orleans City Council unanimously approved HANO's request to demolish the decades-old public housing developments and rebuild them as mixed-income communities.
The survey results announced today reinforce HANO's plans to redevelop a sufficient number of public housing units to meet the expressed demand of former residents. HANO's intends to redevelop more than 3,200 public housing units and another 1,765 affordable housing units that would service families at or below 80 percent of the area median income. The plan also includes another 1,800 single family homes that would be market rate and affordable.