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There’s a new estimate out today from RAND Corp. on how much the population of New Orleans will rebound and it’s none too pretty.
By September 2008—three years after Katrina struck—the population of New Orleans is likely to reach 272,000, RAND says. Although that would be a big increase from today’s 155,000, it would be only 56% of the pre-Katrina population of 485,000.
A key factor in the repopulation of New Orleans will be the rapidity of housing construction, according to RAND’s report. It urges steps to speed up issuance of housing permits and to give people a clearer idea of cleanup plans.
Here’s an excerpt from the press release:
Repopulation could also be accelerated if government officials provide clear and comprehensive information about progress and the ultimate goals for restoring essential city services and systems such as public transportation, levees, public safety, public education and hospitals, the report says.
“If officials give clear and complete information to the residents and businesses of New Orleans, people can start to make solid plans, and this will encourage the reconstruction and rebuilding process,” said Narayan Sastry, a RAND researcher and co-author of the report.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.