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Coming Home to New OrleansNeighborhood Rebuilding After Katrina$
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Karl F. Seidman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199945511

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945511.001.0001

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A Village Rebuilds

A Village Rebuilds

Chapter:
(p.108) CHAPTER 4 A Village Rebuilds
Source:
Coming Home to New Orleans
Author(s):

Karl F. Seidman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945511.003.0004

At New Orleans’ eastern edge, Vietnamese refugees settled and built a community in the Village de L’Est neighborhood. This chapter explains how this tight- knit community rebuilt after Katrina with the strong leadership of its Catholic priest. It details efforts to help homeowners and businesses rebuild while fighting to close an adjacent landfill. Aided by the national Vietnamese-American community and other partners, the church formed a community development corporation to assist businesses and residents and pursue development projects. Despite difficulties completing real estate projects, grassroots rebuilding contributed to a high rate of homeowner recovery, the return and expansion of local businesses, a new charter school and two new health clinics. However, repopulation rates for renters and black households were low and many blighted properties remained. Greater political and civic capacity emerged from recovery efforts, including a new wave of young leaders committed to the community’s development.

Keywords:   community organizing, community development corporation, neighborhood recovery, New Orleans East, Vietnamese-American, immigrant communities, immigrant business development, faith-based initiatives, environmental justice, community health centers

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