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The contentious politics of the demolition of Lafitte public housing in post- Katrina New Orleans and its replacement with mixed-income properties is a telling case of the strategic conflicts housing advocates face in public housing revitalization. It reveals how the qualified outcomes of HOPE VI interact with local institutional and historical circumstances to confound the equity and social justice goals of housing and community development advocates. It shows the limits to public housing revitalization as an urban recovery strategy when hostile government leadership characterizes a region, and the state is recast as an adversary rather than revitalization partner. This case is part of a longer ethnographic project on post-Katrina New Orleans recovery.


This work was originally published in Journal of the American Planning Association.


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