Since the 2005 double whammy of hurricanes Katrina and Rita there has been a general policy in New Orleans' most flood prone areas to try and raise, or elevate, as many buildings as possible. This even includes large buildings such as the one pictured here, located downtown in the medical corridor of Tulane Avenue, off of Canal Street. Often federal funds are used for this purpose to help offshoot the rising costs of raising buildings which helps residents and businesses get better flood insurance rates.
Razing buildings helps to promote rebuilding as it eliminates buildings which have been condemned and are dangerous and unsightly. Often buildings that need to be razed contributed to, and sometimes even cause, decline in formerly vibrant neighborhoods, and razing these buildings helps to generate a rebirth in failing neighborhoods. It is estimated about 160,000 homes were ruined in the New Orleans area by Hurricane Katrina's wrath and subsequent floods. Unfortunately, there are still a great many buildings that need to be torn down, about 60,000 or so, but the city cannot yet afford to tear them down, since it costs about $ 16,000. to tear down an average size home.
The issue continues to be especially persistent in the neighborhoods affected by the 13 different levee failures that occurred in the wake of hurricane Katrina, especially in the lower ninth ward where Katrina's destruction is still most prominently visible. You can learn more about Hurricane Katrina's lasting impact on our city and our subsequent rebirth on the New Orleans City and Katrina Tour.