Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson on Wednesday unveiled the agency's plan to accelerate the return of public housing families back to New Orleans by rehabilitating units and increasing the value of rental vouchers. The plan includes rehabilitating and reopening about 1,000 public housing units in the next 60 days, raising the value of HUD Disaster Vouchers, and redeveloping New Orleans public housing to bring better housing opportunities for families displaced by Hurricane Katrina. There are currently about 1,000 residents back in public housing units at Iberville, Guste, Fischer, River Garden (formerly St. Thomas) and Hendee Homes, HUD reported. The plan will accelerate the cleanup and repair of additional units at these developments, which will ultimately mean the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) reopening another 1,000 units by August. Rehabilitating these units will give nearly half of the 5,000 families displaced last August an opportuni...
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