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New Orleans Sets New Rules for Public Housing

With great success, the city is on a fast track to transform six Great Depression-era public housing projects - totaling 4,000 units - into mixed-income housing. "People will be watching New Orleans closely," observes Linda Couch.

"What makes New Orleans unusual is how the city toppled all of its major public housing projects at once, choosing a swift overhaul to its public housing over a phased redevelopment," explains Couch in the USA Today article.

Despite the rosy outlook, a partnership between local housing authority and private developer to build varied-income housing significantly reduces the supply of subsidized housing in the market. "Public housing units account for about one-third of the new developments, and many families who once lived in the projects will be left out," notes Rick Jervis. One of the city's six projects, the 460-unit Harmony Oaks Apartments, has over 4,000 people on the wait list, vying for the subsidized units. Another option is to apply for the federal rent vouchers, which has some 22,000 families on the wait list as well.

Full Story: New Orleans unveils fresh model for housing the poor

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