A new report published by the Institute for Women's Policy Research, details the experiences of Black women who lived in public housing when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005.
Researchers interviewed 184 low-income black women who were living in four large housing projects within the city of New Orleans, known as "the Bricks." These women were displaced from their homes after the storm. The report examines how the intersections of race, class, and gender impacted post-disaster conditions for Black women.
This report attempts to answer a series of interconnected questions regarding the challenges that women in public housing faced when trying to evacuate, while displaced, and when trying to return or settle in new communities. The study explores the reasoning behind their choices to either return to New Orleans or remain displaced and the resources that were or were not available to these women as they attempted to make the best decisions for themselves and their families after such an enormous disaster. This report recommends a more holistic approach to disaster relief efforts in the United States, including coordinated services and policies that consider the needs of the most vulnerable portions of the population.