Displaced Louisianans: Where did they go and are they coming back?

August 07, 2007

Baton Rouge, LA. – The Louisiana Family Recovery Corps released today a report on hurricane-displaced Louisianans living out-of-state and the barriers they face in coming back. (Click here to read the full report)

The report was released at an information briefing held in conjunction with the Louisiana Recovery Authority, which also released a report on in-state migration patterns and parish estimates. In addition, a recent report conducted by LSU on behalf of the Recovery Corps, the Department of Labor and LRA on the employment challenges of displaced residents in trailer communities was presented.

“As time passes and the recovery process continues, the needs of disaster-affected families and individuals are constantly changing,” said Raymond A. Jetson, chief executive officer of the Recovery Corps. “If leaders and organizations involved in recovery are aware of these changing needs we can better effectively address the challenges so many of our residents face in making a decision to return home.”

The Recovery Corps’ findings are based on a sample of 71,466 households from U.S. Postal Service change of address records and survey responses of nearly 3,100 displaced New Orleans households living out-of-state. The report concluded that Louisiana citizens are currently living in more than 5,500 cities across the country with the largest concentrations in Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, and San Antonio. Of the residents surveyed, 36 percent indicated they want to come back to New Orleans, but 60 percent of that group do not have any specific plans or timeline for their return; 37 percent do not have any desire to come back; and 20 percent still remain undecided.

The majority of those who participated in the survey reported that moving costs along with finding available housing are the biggest challenges they face in deciding to return. Other factors residents consider in making their decision are available jobs, crime and levee safety. Of the residents who have chosen not to come home, 70 percent explained that they are content with their current location and therefore will not return.

The information briefing, which occurred at 10 a.m. at the Louisiana State Capitol, was held to release new data on displaced Louisiana citizens living in and out-of-state and to help fill a critical data and information void. The event allowed policy makers and service providers to exchange information and ideas that can assist in decision-making and investment choices that impact the long-term recovery of Louisiana.

To download the brief “Where Did They Go and Are They Coming Back? An Analysis of Displaced Louisianans Living In Other States,” please visit www.recoverycorps.org or click here to access the file directly.

About the Recovery Corps

Through the coordination of the efforts of human recovery service organizations and creation of fill-the-gap programs, the Louisiana Family Recovery Corps, a private nonprofit organization, provides access to the resources disaster-affected families and individuals need to rebuild their lives. Since service delivery began in January 2006, the Recovery Corps has impacted more than 25,000 Louisiana households. Together, with its partners, the Recovery Corps is driving human recovery. To learn more, visit www.recoverycorps.org.

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