[News] Katrina Pain Index - 2009

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Tue Aug 18 12:13:00 EDT 2009


August 18, 2009

Katrina Pain Index - 2009


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.

1.  Rank of New Orleans among U.S. cities in murders per capita for 2008.

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.

35.  Percent of child care facilities re-opened 
in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina.

35.  Percent increase of demand in 2009 at 
emergency food programs in New Orleans and 
surrounding parishes, “an increase pinned on the 
swelling ranks of under-employed and rising food, housing, and fuel costs.”

50.  Ranking of Louisiana among states for overall healthcare.

52.  Percent increase in rents in New Orleans since Katrina.

52.   Percent of federal rebuilding money 
allocated to New Orleans that has actually been received.

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.

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 1400 public housing apartments. 
Only a small percentage of the 4000 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 after Katrina who have been determined 
eligible for assistance but who have still not received any money.

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.

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

65,888.  Unoccupied addresses in New 
Orleans.  This is 31% of the addresses in the 
City and nearly as many as Detroit, a city twice the size of New Orleans.

128,341:  Number of Louisianians looking for work.

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.

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.

98 million:  Dollar amount of unemployment 
federal stimulus dollars rejected by Louisiana 
Governor Bobby Jindal that was available to 
bolster the unemployment compensation funds to 
assist 25,000 families in Louisiana.

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.

?.   Current vulnerability to storm-related 
flooding.  The Army Corps of Engineers continues 
work to provide protection from a storm surge 
that has a 1 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 is, at best, challenging.

Davida Finger is a social justice lawyer and 
clinical professor at Loyola University New Orleans.
Bill Quigley is a human rights lawyer on leave 
from Loyola now serving as legal director at the 
Center for Constitutional Rights.  A version of 
this article with sources is available if you 
write to the authors c/o <mailto:quigley77 at gmail.com>quigley77 at gmail.com.

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