The Katrina Pain Index

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This statistical index was complied by Bill Quigley and Davida Finger.


Davida Finger is a justice lawyer and clinical professor at Loyola University New Orleans. Bill Quigley is a human rights lawyer on leave from Loyola now serving as legal director at the Center for Constitutional Rights. August 29th will mark the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in Southeastern Louisiana.



Number of renters in Louisiana who have received financial assistance from the $10 billion federal post-Katrina rebuilding program Road Home Community Development Block Grant.( Number of homeowners who have received financial assistance is 116,078.)



Number of hospitals in New Orleans providing in-patient mental health care as of September 2009 despite post-Katrina increases in suicides and mental health problems. (Source:


One: .

Rank of New Orleans among U.S. cities in murders per capita for 2008. (Source: FBI National Crime, Crime in the United States, Preliminary Annual Crime Report (Jan. to Dec. 2008), Table 4, at



Rank of New Orleans among U.S. cities in percentage of vacant residences. (Source:



Number of Katrina cottages completed in Louisiana as of beginning of 2009 hurricane season under $74 million dollar federal program. (Source:



Percent of 134,000 FEMA trailers in which Katrina and Rita storm survivors were housed after the storms, which have had
formaldehyde problems. (Source:



Percent of child care facilities re-opened in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina. (Source: United Way for Greater New Orleans Area, Statistics (Feb. 2008), at



Percent increase of demand in 2009 at emergency food programs in Orleans and surrounding parishes, “an increase pinned on the swelling ranks of under-employed and rising food, housing, and fuel costs.” (Source: Emilie Bahr, Economic Strife Creates New Clientel for Area Food Banks, City Business, Mar. 2009.)



Ranking of Louisiana among states for overall healthcare. (Source: United Health Foundation,America’s Health Rankings, 2008; The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 50 State Comparisons)



increase in rents in New Orleans since Katrina.  (Source: Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, Metro New Orleans Fair Market Rent History (2000-2009), at



Percent of federal rebuilding money allocated to New Orleans that has actually been received. (Source: NOLA Index, page 15/23.



Percent of children in New Orleans public schools who attend public charter schools.Source:



Percent of the 600 New Orleans residents who will displaced by proposed new hospital complex who are minorities. (Source: Programmatic Environmental Assessment, at 3-86. )


One Hundred Sixty: 

Number of units which will be public housing eligible in the new St. Bernard area after demolition and rebuilding.  St. Bernard was constructed with 1400 public housing apartments.  Only a small percentage of the 4000 families in public housing in New Orleans before Katrina will be allowed to live in the new housing being constructed on the site where their apartments were demolished.



Number of Louisiana homeowners who have applied for federal assistance in repair and rebuilding and who have been determined eligible for assistance but who have still not received any money.  (Source: Road Home Program, Weekly Detailed Statistics as of August 12, 2009. (151,783 eligible applicants and 124,504 have closed). 



Number of children who have not returned to public school in New Orleans since Katrina. This reduction leaves the New Orleans public school population just over half of what it was pre-Katrina. (Source: Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, Public School Enrollment 2008-2009, at



Number of Medicaid recipients who have not returned to New Orleans since Katrina. (Source: There were 152,686 medicaid enrollees in Orleans in 2004/2005 — see table 10 at There were 88, 887 medicaid enrollees in Orleans in latest report.  See Table 10 at



Unoccupied addresses in New Orleans.  This is 31% of the addresses in the City and nearly as many as Detroit, a city twice the size of New Orleans.  (Source: Page 12/23 of NOLA Index August 2009. and



Number of Louisianians looking for work. (Source: Louisiana Workforce Commission, News Release, May 27, 2009, at



Fewer people in New Orleans than before Katrina. (Source: Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, Census Population Estimates 2000-2008, at


9.5 Million: 

Dollar amount of federal Medicaid stimulus rejected by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. The funds would have expanded temporary Medicaid coverage for families who leave welfare and get a job. (Source: WDSU, Jindal Says ‘No’ to Health Care Stimulus Funds, at


98 million: 

Dollar amount of unemployment federal stimulus dollars rejected by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal that were available to bolster the unemployment compensation funds to assist 25,000 families in Louisiana. (Source:  MICHELLE MILLHOLLON; March protests Jindal rejection of funds, The Advocate May 28, 2009.  and NELP DOCUMENT. )  


900 Million: 

Dollar amount paid to ICF International, the company hired by the State of Louisiana to distribute federal Road Home rebuilding dollars. (Source: David Hammer, ICF’s Oversight of Road Home Comes to an End, Times Picayune, June 11, 2009,


(Originally published at Facing South/Institute for Southern Studies)