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Setting a Precedent


Relocation Aid and Compensation
Written by Sabina Khan and Jayanthi Jayakumar

    As we close off areas that are too dangerous for the public to live in, the process of relocating these people becomes a daunting task. About 40% of the historical city of New Orleans is composed of houses built pre-1950s (GNOCDC, 2000). We understand the importance these homes and its impact on the culture of New Orleans. But we are compelled to ask for the relocation of certain portions of the city of New Orleans due to the increasing rate of subsidence. We by no means plan to discriminate or harm anyone, but the fact remains that certain areas of New Orleans are too dangerous to live in. Measures need to be taken to portray that this effort is not meant to relocate a certain group of people to create opportunities and gain for others. It is to minimize the effects of future disasters from occurring again and to protect the people by moving them.

The danger involved in living in the area must be emphasized over and over again. The local media is requested to air the programs dealing with the problems in New Orleans and stress the importance of moving. Local schools will have programs and projects that also provide information for the people so that they understand how important it is to move.

Although relocating from the homes they have had for years will be a very difficult process, we want to make it simpler by providing them with information and a support system that will help them find the next best place to rebuild their lifestyles. To accomplish this goal, a Citizen’s Relocation Committee will be created under the New Orleans City Council. This will be a temporary committee designed to help people relocate and will consist of a headboard that includes 1 representative from each district that will oversee the CRC. However, to do one-on-one consultation, experts in the areas of relocation will be hired at a ratio based on the population’s needs and demands. The CRC will also consist of a hotline number that will not only help people find consultants to help them move, but also access to other resources, such as psychologists and counselors, to help them deal with the move.

Although it will be hard to compensate for homes that are invaluable both historically and emotionally, the federal government will provide monetary aid to help people relocate and get situated. This will consist of the replacement costs of their homes in the areas they choose to move to, and any additional costs that concern the market value of their past residence.