In his latest Katrina Pain Index report, civil rights attorney Bill Quigley shared statistics that paint a grim reality facing the city’s poor and working-class residents.
Quigley points out, for example, it costs 33 percent more to rent a one-bedroom apartment than it did in 2005 and 41 percent more to rent a two-bedroom apartment.
With sky-high rental rates, ever-rising property taxes, Sewerage & Water Board fees, insurance rates and energy bills, life is anything but easy for most of the residents of this majority-Black city.
While Katrina recovery was supposed to make things better for residents, Quigley’s Katrina Pain Index makes it clear that the benefits of living in a “new New Orleans” have not trickled down to the Black masses.
For instance, he reported that the median income for white families is $60,553, compared to a median income of $25,102 for Black families. Those numbers explain why 50 percent of the city’s Black children live in poor households. The Data Center reported that 37 percent of New Orleans renters spend more than 50 percent of their income on rent, leaving very little money for other expenses. Before Katrina, the average renter spent 19 percent of his or her income on rent.
Making matters worse is the fact that there are 9,000 fewer New Orleanians receiving food stamps than before Katrina and 6,000 fewer people receiving Social Security than there were before Katrina.
Despite these numbers, the Landrieu administration and non-profit groups have touted the city’s progress in transforming New Orleans into a world-class city.
Read more here.