Zika could hit people in poverty hardest

If Zika spreads in the United States, Americans who live in substandard housing and neglected neighborhoods could face the greatest danger, particularly along the Gulf Coast.

News Story (Louisiana)

Liz Szabo
USA Today
July 2, 2016

Tags: Health Care, Housing: Landlord-Tenant, Hurricane Katrina

Organizations mentioned/involved: Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS)


While affordable housing is in short supply in many cities, the problem is particularly acute in New Orleans, which is still recovering from the devastation of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. Rents in New Orleans soared 20% to 25% from 2009 to 2015, according to a June report commissioned by the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority. Wages have barely changed in that time.

And many of those rental units are in poor condition. Up to 78% of the 159,100 rental units in New Orleans needed major repairs in 2011, according to the latest in-depth report from the U.S. Census, called the American Housing Survey. More than 5,300 units leaked water from the outside; 1,600 had holes in the floor; 2,350 had no working bathroom.