Praise for the Peacock

Shelterforce never shies away from chiding mainstream media for ignoring America’s affordable-housing crisis, so we shouldn’t hesitate to give praise where it’s due. Kudos to’s Rising from Ruin an online special report focused on the post-Katrina struggles of the coastal Mississippi towns of Bay St. Louis and Waveland. Check out the site for some powerful work on the disappearance of affordable housing in the wake of the storm, including the often-ignored subject of rental housing. Using blogs, video, audio, and slide shows, the multimedia project brings home the dislocation thousands of renters are still experiencing almost two years after Katrina. “The loss was staggering,” writes editor Mike Stuckey. “In a state where nearly 30 percent of the residents are renters, 72,116 renter-occupied units were damaged or destroyed by Katrina, according to Gov. Haley Barbour’s office.” Stuckey underscores the failure of federal will behind the crisis: “While billions in federal dollars are being handed out to directly help rebuild single-family homes, almost none has been made available so far to replenish rental housing in the hurricane zone. In Hancock County 20 months after the storm, not a single nail has yet been pounded to replace any of the hundreds of multifamily subsidized and market-rate rental units that were lost to the hurricane.”

Shelterforce is the only independent, non-academic publication covering the worlds of community development, affordable housing, and neighborhood stabilization.


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