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Coalition urges affordable housing focus in Katrina rebuild

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The National Low Income Housing Coalition estimates this week that 302,000 housing units were destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast. The estimate comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's most recent geographic analysis, the group said. Of these units, 216,000, or 71 percent, were affordable to low-income households, those earning 80 percent of Area Median Income or less, according to NLIHC. In New Orleans, 142,000 units were damaged or lost, 79 percent of which were affordable to low-income households. (In 2004 a low-income household earned $37,360 or less in Louisiana, $32,560 or less in Mississippi, $38,160 or less in Alabama, and $40,800 or less in New Orleans.) In all Katrina-affected areas, 47 percent of units lost or damaged were rental units, according to NLIHC. In New Orleans, 55 percent of the housing destroyed or damaged were rental units.  Of the total rental units lost, 73 percent of those that were affordable to extremely low-inco...