Evaluating Katrina: A Snapshot of Renters’ Rights Following Disasters
Eloisa C. Rodriguez-Dod
Florida International University (FIU) - College of Law
Nova Southeastern University - Shepard Broad Law Center
September 17, 2012
Nova Law Review, Vol. 31, p. 467, 2007
NSU Shepard Broad Law Center Research Paper No. 12-007
Hurricane Katrina destroyed the homes of many people living in parts of the Gulf Region. The storm displaced as many as 800,000 victims and it is still difficult for them to return home. Consequently, many homeowners have turned to renting because of the slow recovery process. Renters face added difficulties; they are often the last in line for government benefits and other assistance. There is much hostility towards the rights of renters, creating even more difficulties for them.
This article focuses on the difficulties facing evacuee renters in New Orleans following the disaster. These renters face such obstacles as scarcity of land, increases in costs for repairs, higher insurance, infrastructure uncertainty, rental property inflation, uncertainty over flood protection, zoning restrictions, and criminalization. This article discusses legislation and attempted legislation impacting renters post Katrina. The article explores the increase in rent after disasters and a suggested control. It further discusses the manner in which criminal backgrounds determine rental options following disasters. Specifically, the article focuses on legislation limiting access to rentals and suggests, with the right legislation in place, New Orleans will be able to successfully rebuild its lower and middle income housing.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 20
Keywords: tenants, renters, disaster, legislation, housing
JEL Classification: I30, I31, K11Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: May 15, 2012 ; Last revised: November 12, 2012
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