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The Quiet of Dissolution: Post-Disaster Redevelopment and Status Preserving Compensation

David Simunovich

Seton Hall University - School of Law

January 12, 2007

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Gulf Coast residents, community groups, and policy makers have a uniquely powerful and dynamic charge - rebuild a great city. The chosen vehicle for housing redevelopment in Louisiana is the Road Home, a federally funded program designed to combine administrative flexibility while protecting the homeowner status of Katrina-displacees. The Road Home provides renovation grants of up to $150,000 for Katrina-displaced homeowners to rebuild storm damaged residences.

While the basic tenets of the Road Home are largely commendable, the program remains fundamentally flawed because it fails to protect Louisiana's most politically and economically vulnerable residents. In an effort to concentrate post-disaster redevelopment, the Road Home administrators will deny renovation grants to qualified residents living in neighborhoods where too few homeowners are returning to rebuild their community. This Comment argues that the restriction triggers federal displacement benefits under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act (URA). The URA's displacement benefits will be triggered by certain Road Home property acquisitions under a theory of functional displacement.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 27

Keywords: displacement, disaster, uniform relocation assistance and real property acquisition, New Orleans, redevelopment,

JEL Classification: K11, K32

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Date posted: January 16, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Simunovich, David, The Quiet of Dissolution: Post-Disaster Redevelopment and Status Preserving Compensation (January 12, 2007). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=957366 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.957366

Contact Information

David Simunovich (Contact Author)
Seton Hall University - School of Law ( email )
One Newark Center
Newark, NJ 07102-5210
United States
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