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All Reports & Analysis

Expanding Opportunity for Minority-Owned Businesses in Metro New Orleans

Jul 23, 2015

For metro New Orleans, where 47 percent (and rising) of residents are minorities, minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs) will play a significant role in driving job and wealth generation for the foreseeable future. Post-Katrina, New Orleans has enjoyed a boom in entrepreneurship, with startup rates eclipsing the national rate by 64 percent. However, the jury is out on whether the minority population of metro New Orleans has benefited equally from the recent startup renaissance. In this paper, we provide empirical data on how MBEs perceive the post-Katrina entrepreneurial ecosystem, including impressions on inclusiveness, supports, and access. We close with recommendations on policies and procedures that improve the ecosystem's ability to support MBE development.

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Expanding Choice and Opportunity in the Housing Choice Voucher Program

Jul 08, 2015

The significance of the housing voucher program in the New Orleans metro area post-Katrina cannot be overstated; the number of housing vouchers in use in Orleans Parish alone more than tripled from 2000 to 2010. Housing vouchers were a primary means of assisting households displaced by Katrina, especially following demolitions of public housing units that housed over 5,000 low-income households before the storm. In this paper, we present data regarding the use of housing vouchers by low-income renters in the pre- and post-disaster New Orleans housing markets; evaluate the subsidies’ effectiveness in increasing access to wider housing opportunity after the storm; and recommend mechanisms to increase the effectiveness of the subsidies in reducing income and racial segregation in the region.

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Latinos in Metro New Orleans: Progress, Problems, and Potential

Jul 01, 2015

Hurricane Katrina and the flooding caused by the levee failure on August 29, 2005 precipitated the arrival of new Latino immigrants in New Orleans. These immigrants sought opportunities in New Orleans and provided labor needed to clean and rebuild the damaged city. However, the immigrants received a mixed reception; while their labor was urgently needed and welcomed, displaced residents, especially those in the low-skill labor force, feared that the newcomers would fill jobs and occupy low-cost housing New Orleanians needed to return home.

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No More “Planning by Surprise”: City Planning in New Orleans Ten Years after Katrina

Jun 24, 2015

The city planning process in New Orleans during the decade following Hurricane Katrina was arguably one of the most challenging periods of city planning in any city, at any point in U.S. history. The first five years were spent primarily in recovery planning phase, and the second five years were spent dealing with complexities and conflicts of the comprehensive zoning process. The challenges were made more daunting by the fact that before the storm the city lacked a history of strong traditional urban planning practices. As a result, most processes had to be constructed from scratch. Despite few financial resources and a series of stops and starts, New Orleans now has a Master Plan as of August 2010, and a Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance as of May 2015. The New Orleans recovery experience can inform other communities about what to do and perhaps more importantly, what not to do when planning to rebuild after a disaster.

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Criminal Justice: Changing Course on Incarceration

Jun 17, 2015

Much has changed in New Orleans’ criminal justice arena in the past 10 years: two consent decrees forcing reform in the police department and at the jail, a public defender office built on national models as part of a statewide system, an Inspector General’s office with a focus on holding criminal justice officials accountable, the city’s first Independent Police Monitor, and an active Criminal Justice Committee of the City Council exploring policy reforms. The most ambitious set of changes has addressed the city’s dramatic overuse of incarceration in the local jail. Prior to Katrina, and for most of the last 10 years, New Orleans incarcerated residents in the jail at a much higher rate than any other city in the country. In a hopeful sign going forward, the city has reduced the number of people it incarcerates on any given day by more than two-thirds.

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