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Survey Finds Cost of Housing in New Orleans Rose 33% After Katrina

""HUD"":http://www.hud.gov released its ""2009 New Orleans Metropolitan Area Housing Survey"":http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/ahs/ahsdata09_metro_intro.html on Monday. The agency says its the most comprehensive analysis of the area's housing stock since

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the department's last assessment in 2004 (prior to Hurricane Katrina). The survey provides a point of comparison and an in-depth progress report of the redevelopment of the area following the storm.

In the five years since Hurricane Katrina struck the area, the New Orleans metro lost 75,000 housing units, nearly 13 percent of its housing stock, and the median monthly cost of housing rose by nearly 33 percent from $662 in 2004 to $882 in 2009, according to the survey.

Including data from Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, and St. Tammany Parishes, the survey is based on in-depth interviews with residents of approximately 3,000 housing units.

""This survey presents a startling picture of just how disruptive Hurricane Katrina was to the lives of tens of thousands of families throughout the New Orleans area,"" said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. ""The numbers also

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offer clear evidence of where things stood in 2009, providing a benchmark for the Obama administration's work to help New Orleans recover and rebuild.""

HUD estimates that more than 80 percent of the area's households were forced to move because of the storm and approximately 12 percent still consider themselves in flux. They survey also revealed that approximately 298,000 households were forced from their homes for at least two weeks after the storm; most families moved three times, and some changed residences as many as 10 times.

""The New Orleans metro area suffered a great deal from Katrina, and that suffering extended beyond just the housing stock to include the generations of families who called that area their home,"" said Dr. Raphael Bostic, HUD's assistant secretary for Policy Development and Research. ""While fewer families remain in transition, we're seeing significant increases in the cost of housing.""

According to a statement released by HUD, the department has worked aggressively with the Obama administration and with nearly 350 local housing authorities around the country to extend housing assistance to families on the verge of losing their temporary assistance. The agency has also helped stimulate privately owned affordable housing developments, creating more federally assisted housing in New Orleans today than there was before Hurricane Katrina.

""It's clear that this Administration is focused on the long-term recovery of the New Orleans area and the restoration of its affordable housing stock in particular,"" Donovan added. ""But we will not rest until every displaced family has a permanent place to call home.""

HUD plans another housing survey in 2011 to further gauge progress in the restoration of the area's housing stock.

About Author: Heather Cernoch

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