6C. Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina for Housing Lawyers
Man-made climate change is causing an increasing number of extreme weather events that disrupt communities across the nation. Hurricane Katrina was one of the most disruptive climate change related disasters in recent history, and Gulf Coast legal advocates had to adopt to a series of rapidly changing legal problems faced by affected low-income residents. In this workshop, the rapidly changing housing problems suffered by victims of Hurricane Katrina will be profiled starting with accessing emergency housing assistance administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the destruction of low-income housing units – public, subsidized, and privately owned apartments. Once rebuilding began, government officials made choices that resulted in a reduction of public and subsidized housing units, preventing many low-income evacuees from returning home. Subsequent decisions favoring the development of upscale housing led to additional displacement of low-income residents through gentrification. Panelists will discuss these issues in detail focusing on the lessons that legal aid housing lawyers can learn from the experience of Gulf Coast legal advocates.