Dear friends and colleagues,
The decision to demolish and redevelop the "big 4" housing projects, had consequences for thousands of low-income New Orleanians. Many of them were given "housing choice vouchers" (previously known as "section 8" vouchers)with the aim of reducing concentrated poverty and giving low-income renters the opportunity to find housing in neighborhoods with more amenities, less crime, and neighbors of differing income levels. But did it work?
Voucher households in the New Orleans metro post-Katrina had little access to neighborhoods of opportunity (or neighborhoods of low-poverty). Instead they tended to secure rentals in low-income neighborhoods.
Racial disparities in access to neighborhoods of opportunity are evident in the data. Other studies have documented discrimination against both African Americans and voucher households generally.
The report recommends many readily-available policy tools to counteract the tendency of voucher families to rent in low-income neighborhoods.  The stakes are high for the low-income children in our region. The housing voucher program must be used to its fullest potential to help low-income families access better neighborhoods—assisting the next generation of New Orleans children to overcome the life-altering effects of growing up in poverty.
To learn more, check out The New Orleans Index at Ten Collection - Expanding Choice and Opportunity in the Housing Choice Voucher Program at:
Bringing you the data you need to make informed decisions,
The Data Center team 
Rebecca Osakwe, Whitney Soenksen, Allison Plyer, Vicki Mack, and Nihal Shrinath

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