An economist visits New Orleans. By Tyler Cowen

Shacks and shanty-towns as the economic saviors of New Orleans…he might be half-joking, or he might be right. I have always maintained that access to affordable housing should be the primary concern in rebuilding New Orleans.

An economist visits New Orleans. By Tyler Cowen

Instead, the city should help create cheap housing by reducing legal restrictions on building quality, building safety, and required insurance. This means the Ninth Ward need not remain empty. Once the current ruined structures are razed, governmental authorities should make it possible for entrepreneurs to put up less expensive buildings. Many of these will be serviceable but not all will be pretty. We could call them structures with expected lives of less than 50 years. Or we could call them shacks.

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2 thoughts on “An economist visits New Orleans. By Tyler Cowen

  1. Hey, Jeff:

    Having come through tax time without any visible scars, Susan and I just sent off our donation to the NOLA Habitat for Humanity’s Musicians’ Village project. Sounds like a terrific plan to us. Is this project getting good visibility in the New Orleans area?

  2. Yeah, it is. The one concern that I have heard voiced about it is that the income threshold to get in is quite low. Many musicians who are only moderately successful might make too much money to qualify. I only know this based on after gig hearsay, so take it with a grain of salt.

    Regardless of who qualifies, it is a totally worth while project. Thank you for your generosity.

    The more time passes, the more I realize that it is the totality of New orleans, ALL of her people, that give the city its vibe. It is very important that any one that wants to return has the option to do so. Projects like Habitat for Humanity are making that possible.

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