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On Attached Housing

One disturbing relationship found herein was between zip codes with higher percentages of attached housing units and units being targeted for demolition by the city.

Attached Housing in the Big Easy

Abandoned Attached Housing in the Big Easy

The units targeted for demolition list is a document created by “Beck Disaster Recovery (BDR), which has a contract with the city for property management of demolition properties,” and published by the City of New Orleans in two parts (released 12-13-07 and 12-19-07) (Thinknola.com, 2008). It was archived by Thinknola.com after the city removed it from their website (link, or download here). Because the list was published almost a year and half after the first available data about initial re-establishment (households receiving mail 09/06 and zip code business patterns 03/06) we find that areas with high percentages of historically significant “bungalow” and “double shotgun” style duplexes (attached housing) are being targeted for demolition because they are deemed “imminent health threats” or “in danger of collapse” (Tymes-Piscayne, 2006) and/or have been abandoned by their previous owners.

Because the number of demolition permits issued between 09/06 and 08/06 (the year following Katrina) does not have a relationship to % attached housing units but the number of units targeted for demolition by the city (which was published after the 12/07) does show a relationship to % attached housing units, we can infer the negative relationship between % attached housing units and workers per household as a strong indicator of poorer residents that potentially abandoned these damaged properties due to the lack of resources (employment and capital specifically) needed to recover, because these demolitions are separate from the units demolished in the year after the storm.

This is statistical evidence indicating the loss of a part of New Orleans’s unique architectural heritage: perhaps one of the most locally contextualized measurements of Katrina’s impact possible to calculate.

This can be visualized with an index created by weighting the % attached units by zip code and number of units targeted for demolition by the city. This index is possible due to the strong positive relationship between the two variables (.688).

Lost Arch Heritage Index

Potential Lost Architectural Heritage Index

Architectural Heritage Loss Index

Potential Lost Architectural Heritage Map

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