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.
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.