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WASHINGTON, DC-HUD will initiate its public housing revitalization effort for properties damaged by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans with the rehabilitation of the CJ Peete apartment complex in the city’s Uptown area. Over the long-term, HUD expects to spend more than $1.8 billion on various forms of housing assistance–including redevelopment, mold removal and planning efforts–for Katrina victims in the Gulf Region.

Developed over a 14-year period ending in 1955, CJ Peete features just over 1,400 low-income units. The property had already been targeted for revitalization by the Housing Authority of New Orleans before the hurricane.

Under HUD’s leadership, the storm-damaged housing community will be transformed into a mixed-income, mixed-use complex that will serve as a model for other housing redevelopment endeavors in the area. “There should be no doubt that we are committed to making certain that New Orleans’ public housing residents will have a place to call home,” HUD secretary Alphonso Jackson says. “Working closely with our local partners, we will put hammer-to-nail and restore this great city.” According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, 79% of the 142,000 units damaged by Katrina in New Orleans were low-income residences.

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