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Taking advantage of disaster: misrepresentation of housing shortage for political gain

Vedran Vuk (George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 4 July 2008




The purpose of this paper aims to explore the reports of housing shortages in post‐Katrina New Orleans especially for low‐income residents in the face of a returning working poor population. Despite the availability of housing vouchers by the New Orleans Housing Authority to any previous residents of New Orleans housing projects, a political uproar has claimed no homes are available and that destroying the previously failing New Orleans housing projects would amount to “forced homelessness.”


The analysis is done by reflecting on different commentary from persons claiming the housing projects must be preserved while also exploring the failed goals of the same public institutions. Further, a brief overview of the housing situation regarding availability of homes is conducted.


The findings show that the poor of New Orleans are being misled about available housing, and there is a continuing process of decline in sovereignty of local public policy makers. Politicians benefit by elevating their public persona.


The paper explores the political benefactors of perpetuating falsehoods in order to make political gains.



Vuk, V. (2008), "Taking advantage of disaster: misrepresentation of housing shortage for political gain", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 35 No. 8, pp. 603-614.



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