215582 Promises and pitfalls: A Delphi approach to understanding the effects of mixed income housing in New Orleans post Katrina

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

J. Sunshine Cowan, PhD, MPH, CHES , Department of Kinesiology & Health Studies, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK
Mixed-income housing has been touted as one of the answers to New Orleans' public housing problems following Hurricane Katrina. In a Delphi study among key experts in New Orleans, housing advocates, sociologists, disaster management professionals and lawyers were asked to determine the ethical issues surrounding public housing policy as New Orleans works to rebuild.

This study served to determine the level of consensus (and dissensus) among experts in regard to the ethics of current public housing activities in New Orleans; experts were asked to predict future living situations among those individuals who were residing in public housing units in New Orleans prior to Hurricane Katrina and to note issues of environmental injustice among all residents in the area.

According to advocates, mixed-income communities have developed out of the demolition of larger, more traditional housing units; this has occurred while experts note the ethical concerns surrounding right of return and housing for those in need. Therefore, future decisions for advocates, professionals, policy makers, and hopefully, residents of public housing themselves, will be to determine how to provide safe, affordable housing to those in need. Experts note that a major concern revolving around public housing issues in New Orleans is the lack of public housing resident involvement in decision making. Future involvement of residents in such decision making will also need to include those individuals and families who evacuated during Hurricane Katrina and are still waiting to return home.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Environmental health sciences
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
List benefits and consequences of mixed income housing Evaluate mixed income housing in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina using the framework of environmental justice

Keywords: Environmental Justice, Poverty

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a background in public health and environmental science as well as expertise in environmental justice; this research is pulled from my dissertation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.