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August 11, 2015

After Katrina, a Housing Project is Reborn as Mixed-Income Model

Marketplace visits the Columbia Parc at the Bayou District, a mixed-income development in New Orleans that replaced a public-housing project damaged by Hurricane Katrina and later demolished. The revision was financed through a nonprofit called the Bayou District Foundation, which has a goal of implementing community redevelopment models.

Residents include public-housing tenants, who pay a third of their income; other low-income individuals, who pay a fixed amount below market rate; individuals with middle-class jobs, who pay market rate; and some seniors. With amenities including free classes available to residents' children to prepare them for school, a movie theater, and large playing fields, the development is viewed by many as a strong improvement.

But some individuals who lived in the original development and are not eligible to live at Columbia Parc are angry that their home was torn down and say the new development lacks the sense of community that once existed there.